a method for detecting the position and velocity of a distant object, such as an aircraft A narrow beam of extremely high-frequency radio pulses is transmitted and reflected by the object back to the transmitter, the signal being displayed on a radarscope. The direction of the reflected beam and the time between transmission and reception of a pulse determine the position of the object Former name radiolocation
"electronic system for locating objects by means of radio waves," 1941, acronym (more or less) from radio detecting and ranging. The U.S. choice, it won out over British radiolocation. Figurative from 1950.
A method of detecting distant objects and determining their position, speed, material composition, or other characteristics by causing radio waves to be reflected from them and analyzing the reflected waves. The waves can be converted into images, as for use on weather maps.
The equipment used in such detecting. See also Doppler effect, lidar, sonar.