SONAR Working, Principle, Uses & Application


SONAR: Sonar as we have all listen in our daily life but we must not be knowing everything about it. Lets discuss all about SONAR Working, Sonar Uses, Sonar Application and Principle of Sonar. SONAR is also known as Sound Navigation And Ranging, it is a technique used to navigate, communicate by using sound propagation. SONAR is used for detection on or under the surface of water.  So today we will discuss about SONAR:

  • Sonar Working
  • Sonar Uses
  • Sonar Principle
  • Sonar Application

SONAR Working

We will discuss about the SONAR Working in Lyman term. SONAR uses echo to navigate and detect any obstacle. Echo is the sound radiate by machine or animal in the surrounding. The sound waves after travelling into the environment bounces back to the object. So Sound Navigation and Ranging also works on the technique that the instrument radiates sound waves, and traces back the sound waves bounced back by the obstacle. These techniques are used by Bats, Whales and some of the specialized machines.

sonar, sonar working, sonar principle, sonar application

There are different frequencies on which SONAR works. Whales and Dolphins can detect the objects 50 feet (15 meters) away. They mainly use SONAR for detection of families, food and direction.

For example: Example: Let’s assume that the time variation is 3 seconds and that the speed of sound in water is 1440 m/s the distance to the object would be:
(1440 m/s * 3 seconds)/2 = 2160m

SONAR Principle

sonar, sonar working, sonar principle, sonar application

As we discussed about the SONAR working, we are much clear about the concept on which SONAR technology works. But if we talk about principle of SONAR in simple words than:

  • The instruments generate an electric impulse which is converted into sound waves with the help of transducer from the transmitter.
  • These sound waves are then sent into the water, when these sound waves strikes the water surface it get rebounds to the transducer.
  • The transducer again converts back the echo into the electrical signals.
  • These electric signals are amplified the receiver and are then sent to the display screen.
  • The display shows the time variations by means of flashing lights, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) or Cathode Ray Tube (CRT or TV screen).
  • With this calculated time elapsed in receiving the sound waves we can find the distance between the object and the transmitter as the speed of light in water remain constant i.e. 1440 meters per second.

Uses & Application of SONAR

Charting and surveying in shallow waters

Pipeline inspections
Pipeline Inspection are mainly used by Oil and Gas companies with the use of high frequency side scan sonar. SONAR in this is used to detect any rock dumps and damages. With the help of ROTV i.e stable FOCUS remotely operated towed vehicle SONAR can be used at speeds upto 6 Knots. This high frequency information makes it easy to detect any changes made in topography.

Searching and Rescuing 

sonar, sonar working, sonar principle, sonar application

SONAR is also used for detecting the hidden objects like for example in Searching. Most of the time this technology is helpful in rescuing used mostly by Searching and Rescuing SAR teams. A  scanning sonar is deployed on a tripod and it makes a perfect and effective  combined tool.

For detecting explosive dangers underwater

Prior to laying pipes and cables under the water it is very important to identify the sea bed as it is increasingly exploited. Mostly the areas affected by the laying of mines and explosives. For example:
The Baltic Sea is reckoned to contain a higher concentration of munitions from the two world wars and subsequent naval exercises than any other.

So it became too much important to detect explosive dangers under water.

Some Facts about SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging)

There are two types of SONAR technology: Passive SONAR and Active SONAR

Passive Sonar is used for listening the sound made by the vessels whereas Active SONAR is used to generate sound pulses and listening echoes.


So this was all about SONAR Working, Principle, Uses & Application. We will discuss more about CRO Working Principle | Cathode Ray Oscilloscope in our next session. If you have any further information then you can share us by commenting in the comment box below. Stay tuned to us at EducationTimes.