Important Rules/ Facts about Radar
Inverse Square Rule
The inverse square rule states that the decrease in strength of a radar signal is inversely proportional to the square of the change in distance from the antenna.
Contour Lines of Equal Sensitivity
The contour lines of equal sensitivity rule states that the strongest reflected signal is determined by the location of the target vehicle to the main power beam. To better understand contour lines of equal sensitivity it is helpful to review all beam reflection rules. The inverse square rule demonstrated that the distance from the radar determined the strength of the reflected signal. We also learned from lines of equal sensitivity that two vehicles of equal size, located at an equal distance from the axis of the main beam, will reflect a radar signal equally. However, if two identical vehicles are positioned so that one vehicle is located directly along the main power axis and one vehicle is located at the edge of the radar beam, the vehicle located on the main power axis will reflect the stronger signal.
Beam Range Sensitivity
As mentioned earlier, the radar beam will continue outward from the radar antenna for an indefinite distance. In reality the beam range as referred to in this manual is that distance where the radar signal may be reflected from an object and then accurately received by the radar antenna. All radar manufacturers specify the range of their radars within these specifications. Nevertheless, the radar range will vary considerably due to several conditions. Atmospheric conditions such as rain, snow, and fog will decrease the effective range of the beam of energy. Terrain such as hills, curves, fences, and buildings will obviously affect the radar signal. Large volumes of traffic or stronger reflective signals may also reduce the effective range of the radar.
Most modern radars have a sensitivity adjustment to control the beam range.
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