Select Page

Sonar Design and Applications

Sonar Design and ApplicationsScore 64%Score 64%

What is a Sonar


Sound navigation and ranging (SONAR) is a method that uses sound waves to navigate and detect objects. It is usually used in oceans and sea waters to communicate, explore, and for mapping purposes. SONAR comes in very handy for detecting objects, vessels, icebergs, submarines, or any other hazards underwater. It produces a sound wave that is then reflected by the object and received again on the water floor, measuring different parameters of that reflected sound wave the object can be located. Sound waves are used in the SONAR technique because sound travels farther in oceans than light waves, radar, or any other wave. SONAR is considered to be the critical technique in acoustics and hydro acoustics (studies of underwater).
SONAR was developed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1490 by a simple vessel; this technique was later on matured in World War 1 to tackle the submarines, as submarines were the war-winning symbol at that time and had no counter technique. SONAR was not only useful for submarine tracking, but the rescue parties also used it to locate the shipwrecks or map the sea.

Working of SONAR

Nature-inspired the idea of SONAR. Dolphins and Whales under the Sea catch their prey using the same technique. They make a unique kind of sound known as clicks; when this sound hits an object and reflects back to them, they can track their location and identify them. Similarly, when SONAR sends off the sound waves, and these waves are reflected to the source, an estimate of distance, speed, and direction of the object is produced by measuring the sound wave’s time to reach the receiver.

To measure the distance from the source, the total time taken from transmission to reception is measured, as the speed of sound is known, comparing both could get us the exact distance. To measure bearing, many sophisticated tools and apparatus are used. These tools could capture very minute and delicate details like modern hydrophones.

For energy calculation, the received sound is processed through numerous signal processors; for modern SONARs, all the process is done by software and computer tools. The speed of an object is measured by SONAR using Doppler’s Effect. Doppler’s Effect measures the change in wavelength and wave frequency while the wave source and its observer are in relative motion.
SONARs are of two types, Active and Passive. They are used according to their utility.

Active Sonar

Active SONAR comprises a sound projector (Transmitter) and a receiver. Active Sonar projects a sound and waits for the reflection of it. This projected sound is produced by electro transducers and amplifiers. The reflected sound is then again received by the transducer. Tonpilz transducers are majorly used for Active Transducers; sometimes, their design is altered to achieve optimum performance widening bandwidth. It is not necessary to always use the sound from transducers. Occasionally, sound from external means is preferred, like chemical explosions or sound from shotguns or airguns. Transducers can determine the distance, direction, orientation, and range of an object.

Passive Sonar

Passive SONARS are only capable of detecting noise. They are also referred to as listening SONARs. They only receive signals from boats, ships, submarines, dolphins, or whales. They are unable to transmit their own pulses. Passive SONARs are usually used for Military and Navy Missions as they don’t want to be noticed but would like to know who else is present in their oceans. Passive Radars are used with coordination of other passive SONARs and passive devices to calculate different parameters like range, direction, etc

SONAR may use two types of sound waves depending upon their use, InfraSonics and UltraSonics. The term infrasonic and ultrasonic is used for sound waves alone rather than electromagnetic or any other kind of wave, and both differ based on their frequency. Both Ultra and Infra Sonics and inaudible to human hearing. Infrasonic are below the human hearing limit and have a frequency of less than 20Hz. Infrasonic includes the eruption of volcanoes and Earthquakes. Ultrasonic is above the human hearing limit, and they have a frequency of 20k Hz.
However, Infrasonic is not preferred in the Sonar technique, especially in active SONAR, because infrasonic are not able to move in the water. Also, their wavelengths are very long, due to which they can’t capture too much energy in their SOFAR channels. But both are very useful as infrasonic can travel more distance, and ultrasonic provide more resolution.


SONARs have great use in modern warfare, especially for the navy, preventing them from revealing the location to locate submarines as radar is not efficient in deep waters. SONAR is the only thing that could help you in the Oceans. A special kind of SONAR is used by ships to overcome the problem of flow noise; they are known as towed SONAR. Torpedoes are also equipped with active and passive SONARs to guide them directly and accurately to the target.
SONARs are also used to locate or hide the explosive mines. SONARs are even used for underwater communication. The use of sonar is not only limited to the navy; helicopters and aircraft are also equipped with a special kind of sonar which can identify submarines from the air. SONARs are the only thing over which authorities depend for the surveillance and security of their seas and oceans.

One of the important industries that is growing in demand and has excellent use of SONAR is fishing. Sound waves travel differently than water because the bladder of fish is filled with air and has high density compared to seawater.

The process used to measure the depth of water beneath boats and ships is echo sounding; it is a type of active sonar. It is the traveling of a sound wave directly to the sea bed.





Summary Sonar (originally an acronym for Sound Navigation And Ranging) is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels. Sonar may be used for the measurement of the echo characteristics of "objects" in the water. Sonar may also be used in air for robot navigation, and SODAR (an upward looking in-air sonar) is used for atmospheric investigations. In addition to its well understood military applications of detecting and tracking enemy ships & submarines and mine avoidance, SONAR is widely used in fisheries, echo sounding, net location, vehicle location and medical applications such as sonography and prosthesis for the visually impaired.

Academic and Professional Importance
Use of Multimedia
Application in 2022 in Beyond

About The Author


  1. admin

    Very few know well about behavior of sound waves under water and sonar systems . As per my little research, Exams Academy is the only online testing institute that tests students and professionals in these specialized fields such as radar technology, sonar technology, electronic warfare, emi and emc. Thanks for sharing this informative post. Please continue sharing more posts on these subjects.

  2. Engr. Saeed Khtar PMP

    Sonar is no doubt an interesting piece of equipment. Thanks for sharing this post.

  3. Work Wrapper

    Excellent post sir, thanks for sharing.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Comments



Understanding The 5 Vs of Big Data

Exams Academy Shares Some Thoughts On Time Management

Take Care of Your Emotional Welbeing

Benefits Of Blockchain Technology

Differences Between AI & Machine Learning

Why Is 5G Technology Different Than 4G

Do Books Really Influence You?

RSS Exams Academy

  • Most Popular Certifications
    It's difficult to determine the most popular certification across all industries, as different certifications hold different levels of importance and popularity in different fields. To conclude, we would say that determination of the most popular certification depends on various factors such as the industry, job role, and location. However, some of the most widely recognized […]
    Engr. Saeed Khtar PMP
  • Top 8 Accounting Certifications
    If you are a financial professional, an accounting certification can increase your earning potential and qualify you for more positions. If you are considering obtaining certification, exploring some of the more popular ones can help you determine which is the best fit for you. In this article, the indeed editorial team discusses eight top accounting […]
  • Can ChatGPT Pass Any Exam?
    GPT-4 is OpenAI’s “most-advanced” AI technology. It can comprehend and discuss pictures and generate eight times the text of its predecessor, ChatGPT (which is powered by GPT 3.5). Here’s a list of exams the new technology has passed… The post Can ChatGPT Pass Any Exam? appeared first on Exams Academy.
  • Merits and Demerits of Online Examinations
    We have so far seen many advancements in science and technology but the idea of online exams is innovative and challenging at the same time. We cannot be more sure if it should be applied by and large to all institutes. There are many preparations to be done beforehand. There are many systems suggested for […]
  • Amazing Uses of Calculus in Real Life
    Calculus is used in lots of fields, physics, engineering, medicine, economics, biology, engineering, space exploration, statistics, pharmacology and many more. Without calculus architects and engineers couldn’t build safe structures. It is used to calculate changes in quantities and systems. Calculus helps to analyze, find optimal solutions and predict the future. Calculus has given us incredible […]
  • How To Improve Reading Retention
    Have you ever found yourself at the end of a book you’ve just finished wondering, what did I just read? (And not in a Gone Girl "what the hell just happened" way.) If you have trouble remembering the finer points of your recent reads, don’t stress, because you’re not alone, and there are plenty of […]
  • Ultimate Guide to Pass PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam
    An effective and skilled professional with extraordinary talents can use PRINCE2 themes and processes throughout the organisation with the help of the PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification. Enrol in the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Certification Training to advance your project management career. The post Ultimate Guide to Pass PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam appeared first on Exams Academy.
  • Tips to Pass the PRINCE2 Foundation Exam
    The high or low you will score in your PRINCE2 Foundation exam will majorly be dependent on how you prepare for it. The tips and tricks mentioned above will help you clearing and memorizing the information in the coursebook far better than doing it in any other way. All the preparations will need some time […]
  • How To Study for CompTIA Project+ Certification
    Computing Technology Industry Association or CompTIA is a trade organization widely known for its IT certification exams and training courses. One of the most popular certifications they offer is the CompTIA A+ – an entry-level certification that’s considered to be a great starting point for people who seek to launch a career in the Information […]
  • How To Pass Agile Certified Practitioner Exam
    The credentialing process for the PMI-ACP® Exam is fairly rigorous, including 2,000 hours or twelve months of general project management work experience, 1,500 hours or eight months of Agile-specific project experience, and 21 hours of training in Agile-specific practices. The amount of material that is covered by the exam is extensive and can seem overwhelming, […]