Radar Guns: Of Road Safety and Sports Research
Have you ever received a speeding ticket? Once you exceed the speed limit at a given area, the police will catch you. But how exactly do they know you were driving past this limit? They determine the speed at which you were going through the use of radar guns. If you need one, they are for sale in the market today!
How does it work?
“RADAR” stands for Radio detection and ranging. The radar gun has a radio wave transceiver, and radio waves are then emitted at a specific frequency. That frequency bounces off a moving object. Some reflected waves return to the radar gun, which undergoes a Doppler shift.
The Doppler shift causes a change in the frequency, which the radar gun detects. So, the faster your car travels, the more it will change the frequency of the radio waves. The radar gun uses this information to calculate the speed of your car in miles per hour.
Where can we use it?
Initially used to monitor the excessive speed of drivers, it can also useful in sports science. In sports such as baseball or tennis, experts use radar guns to measure the speed of balls in flight to improve professionals’ gaming strategies and skills, or for other research purposes.
When Rafael Nadal hit his serve at 135mph, that’s information his trainers can use to study and improve his game. When Giancarlo Stanton of Miami Marlins recorded the fastest knock in baseball with an exit velocity of 123.9mph, it was with this data that the moment was immortalized in the minds of fans and researchers alike.
Another fun fact brought to us by the radar gun is that average golfer has club head speeds at about 70–95mph, while a pro has an acceleration of 135mph.
The use of radar guns doesn’t have to stay within law enforcement on road safety or sports science. As technology expands, RADAR will be useful in different fields soon enough. Where else do you think we can use radar technology?