Electronics. a device for determining the presence and location of an object by measuring the time for the echo of a radio wave to return from it and the direction from which it returns.
a means or sense of awareness or perception:
lobbyists working under the media’s radar.
Contemporary Examples

The plane holding the fashion chief and his friends went off the radar two weeks ago.
Mystery of Missing Vittorio Missoni Deepens in Venezuela Barbie Latza Nadeau January 17, 2013

But it may have put him on the radar of local law enforcement.
How Could Alleged Kidnapper Ariel Castro Be Allowed to Drive a School Bus? Steve Miller May 7, 2013

Geller explains that she has been covering the president “daily” since he came on her radar in January 2007.
Is Obama Anti-American? Rich Benjamin September 20, 2010

Christie continued to have a radar for setting at ease those whom Coben calls “in a corner feeling uncomfortable.”
The One Who Got Away Michael Daly October 4, 2011

Tea Partiers running against incumbents notched some other moral victories too in races that flew under the radar.
Tea Party Loses Key Battles, But Is Winning The War Ben Jacobs May 20, 2014

Historical Examples

Roger gripped the sides of the chart table and stared at the radar scanner.
Danger in Deep Space Carey Rockwell

Alright, Mr. Stewart, how did you find your cow, with some new kind of radar?
The Shining Cow Alex James

A Canadian station noticed the pip on its radar screen first.
Space Platform Murray Leinster

I gave the radar boys the word just before Mantor dropped in on us.
This One Problem M. C. Pease

Crag glanced worriedly at the radar altimeter and hit the braking rockets harder.
First on the Moon Jeff Sutton

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
the equipment used in such detection

“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.

A method of finding the position and velocity of an object by bouncing a radio wave off it and analyzing the reflected wave. Radar is an acronym for radio detection and ranging.

Note: Police use radar techniques to determine the speed of automobiles.

radio detecting and ranging


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