What is SONAR and its Types? How Does Work SONAR System?

Hello Friends! Today, we are going to explain about what is SONAR system and its different types? Involving with, how does work SONAR technology with ease. Finally from this post, you will get to know completely about SONAR and its Working without any hassle.

What is SONAR Technology?

SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) technology is a technique that uses sound waves to detect and locate objects underwater. It works by emitting sound waves, or pulses, that bounce off of underwater objects and return to a receiver. By analysing the time it takes for the sound wave to travel to the object and back, as well as the frequency and intensity of the returned signal, SONAR systems can create detailed images of the underwater environment.


SONAR technology is using for a variety of purposes, including navigation, mapping, and search and rescue operations. It is commonly also using in submarines, ships, and underwater robots to detect other vessels, underwater hazards, and geological features. Additionally, SONAR is using by scientists to study marine life and underwater ecosystems.

‘SONAR Technology’ Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. What is SONAR Technology?
  2. Types of SONAR System
  3. Working of SONAR Technology
  4. Architecture of SONAR System
  5. Interesting Applications of SONAR:
  6. Features of SONAR System
  7. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • What is SONAR system in sound?
  • When was SONAR first invented?
  • Which wave is used in SONAR?
  • What are the different types of SONAR and their applications?
  • What is the principle of SONAR working system?
  • What is the working and application of SONAR?

Let’s Get Started!!

Types of SONAR System

The main objective of using SONAR was to detect the objects under the surface that could prove challenging to ships and submarines. Further, the World War brought major enhancement that pushed next importance of warfare submarines and the underwater surveillance. On the behalf of this enhancement, SONAR technology has two different variants like as Active and Passive SONAR; below shown each one, you can check them:

Also Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of SONAR | Pros and Cons

Active SONAR:

The active SONAR comprises a sound projector and a receiver to identify the range, bearing and relative motion of the target point. Acoustic projector produces the sound wave that transmits outward and reflected back with helping of target point. The receiver grabs these signals and then analyses this reflected signal.

The best example of active SONAR system are submarine vessels, because submarines are able to transmit acoustic energy and then finding out the objects in the vicinity through time delay in between the acquisition of echo.

The Deep Trekker ROVs use the active SONAR system that emits out the sound waves at the specific frequency, then listens for how long it takes for these sound waves to back return after getting to bounce off object in the underwater and the seafloor. The multibeam imaging SONAR system applies the multiple beam of sound to color a picture of what’s at the front of the ROV.

Passive SONAR:

Passive SONAR system allows to detect of sounds that are generating by a moving objects otherwise marine vessel. Ships, Submarines, and aquatic animals’ generate the distinct sounds. These sounds are producing from the different target objects, which are going to use for detection and estimation of target point.

But, passive SONAR is unable to determine the range of target object unless it is applying in the conjunction along with other devices.

LOFAR (Low-Frequency Analysis and Recording) and DEMON (Demodulation of Envelope Modulation On Noise) techniques are applying for processing the received signals. Mostly, passive detection is utilizing the study of marine life.

Working of SONAR Technology

Here, we will try to explain the working of SONAR system with diagram.

Sonar working enables with ultrasonic waves, in which receivers and transmitter are utilizing in the technology. All devices are embedding into the ship, then ultrasonic waves and ultrasound are producing by the transmitter.

These emitted waves are getting to travel across the water and then these waves pass via water and hit objects submerged otherwise on the seabed. Whenever, these waves will be strike with any objects and seabed, and they will reflect.

As the outcome, the receiver gather these reflected waves; furthermore ultrasonic waves will convert into electrical signal that are getting to study to determine the underwater cases and obstacles.


The distance (d) of the under-water object can be calculated from the time (t) taken by the echo to return with speed (v) is given by 2d = v × t. This method helps to measure distance is also called the ‘echo-ranging’.

Architecture of SONAR System

Some components are using in the working structure of the SONAR system like as:


Receiver: It is an detector device that helps to detect and grabs the echo coming from the transmitted waves, which are coming from the different kinds of objects and gets analysing them to identify the distance of objects and several such things.

Transmitter and Emitter: These devices help to generate the ultrasonic sound waves, and then transmit them to other directional of the ship and submarines.

Transducer: This is main element of the SONAR system that constructed with piezoelectric material. So, it has capability to produce the electric potential. Whenever the voltage is using to the Transducer then it oscillates making the acoustic pulse. But apposite it, if pressure is applying over the Transducer, then it also generates the electric signal. The received signals make the pressure on the Transducer. Hence, this processing of converting electrical energy to sound energy and back is known as the ‘Transduction’.

Synchronizer: This component assists to making the coordination of transmission and reception to serve the system in unison.

Control Unit: With the help of this unit, the whole system can easily get control. Moreover, this unit also assists for making of transmission, processing and reception along with signals.

Display Unit:This unit appears the all processed data into visual form, and this display is a scanned picture or PPI image (Planned Position Indicator).

Ultrasonic Waves: These sound waves have frequency more than 20 kHz.

Interesting Applications of SONAR:

SONAR technology has a wide range of applications in various fields. Here are some of the common applications of SONAR; there are explain in brief detail:

Navigation and Mapping: SONAR is using for navigation and mapping purposes, particularly in marine environments. It helps ships and submarines to detect underwater obstacles and map the ocean floor.

Search and Rescue Operations: SONAR technology is using to locate and recover lost objects and people in water bodies. It is commonly also using in search and rescue missions, particularly for finding and recovering sunken ships and aircraft.

Fishing: SONAR is widely applying in the fishing industry to locate schools of fish. It helps fishermen to determine the size, depth, and density of fish populations, allowing them to optimize their catch.

Defense: SONAR can use for defense purposes, particularly in submarine warfare. It enables submarines to detect and locate other vessels and underwater mines, providing a critical advantage in combat situations.

Marine Science: SONAR is also using by marine scientists to study marine life, ocean currents, and underwater ecosystems. It helps researchers to map the ocean floor, study underwater geological features, and monitor marine life populations.

Underwater Exploration: SONAR technology is using for underwater exploration and research purposes. It helps researchers and explorers to discover and explore underwater sites, such as shipwrecks and underwater caves.

Overall, SONAR technology has numerous applications in various fields, ranging from military and defense to scientific research and underwater exploration.

Features of SONAR System

There are some features of sonar, include:

Also Read: Top 25 Applications of SONAR | Uses and Examples of SONAR Technology

Detection Capabilities: Sonar can detect the presence and location of underwater objects, such as submarines, ships, rocks, and marine life.

Range and Depth Capabilities: Sonar can detect objects at varying distances and depths, depending on the type of sonar used.

Imaging Capabilities: Few sonar devices are capable to create images of underwater objects that allowing for more detailed analysis and identification.

Communication Capabilities: Sonar can easily use in underwater communication, allowing for messages to send and received between underwater devices or between underwater and surface devices.

Navigation Capabilities: Sonar is also using for underwater navigation, allowing for accurate positioning and movement tracking.

Multi-functionality: Sonar can use for a variety of applications, including military, commercial, scientific, and recreational purposes.

Durability: Sonar devices enable to withstand harsh underwater environments, including high pressures, extreme temperatures, and saltwater corrosion.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is SONAR system in sound?

SONAR stands for ‘Sound Navigation And Ranging’ that is going to use for measuring the distance by helping of ultrasonic waves. This is because; sound waves of ultrasound frequencies can be sent and received over the distance.

When was SONAR first invented?

Firstly, SONAR system was invented by Leonardo da Vinci in 1490 that time a tube fitted into the water to detect the vessels by ears.

Which wave is used in SONAR?

Ultrasonic waves are used in SONAR technology.

What are the different types of SONAR and their applications?

SONAR system has two variants like as Active and Passive. And, SONAR system is going to use in many applications. Each application is shown in above this post, you can see them.

What is the principle of SONAR working system?

SONAR system works at the few principle that of an echo. Echoes are generated, whenever a sound wave is reflected back on hitting any obstacle in its path.

What is the working and application of SONAR?

In this article, already we have been shown above complete working structure and their applications of SONAR technology, you can check them.

Summing Up

Now, we can hope that you have been completely educated about SONAR system and its types; involving with, how does work SONAR technology with ease. If this article is helpful for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

If you have any experience, tips, tricks, or query regarding this issue? You can drop a comment!

Happy Learning!!

Leave a Reply

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