By Henrietta Wright

What is it?

Sonar is a device that uses sound waves to figure out the distance of an object. The equipment sends out sound waves that bounce off the ocean floor and then return to the ship. The equipment measures how long it takes to return to the ship. Using that information scientist can determine the depth of the ocean floor. If you are still confused this will help you understand. Pretend you have a bouncy ball. You drop it from shoulder height and wait for it to return. You figure out that since it took 0.8 second to return your shoulder is 57 inches from the ground. Sonar works the same way except for longer time and bigger distances.

The Facts

There is some debate about who invented sonar. You can trace back people using the technique to Leonardo Da Vinci in 1490, but the person who got credit was Lewis Nixon in 1906. He used it to detect icebergs. Sonar stands for Sound Navigation Ranging.

How this has affected us

Sonar has affected us in several ways. First, it has given us a way to figure out the layout of the ocean floor. Also, it was very helpful in World War l. It helped people detect submarines. Sonar is great for detecting what the ocean looks like deep in the ocean. Submarines and cameras can't go very deep in the ocean or else they will get crushed. That is why sonar is perfect. You can know what the ocean floor is like without getting wet. Sonar is a great invention and it has helped us learn a lot.