A radar gun is an instrument used by police to measure the speeds of passing cars and determine whether they were adhering to the speed limit. To obtain the measurement, it is sufficient to point the gun at the car for a short duration. While the mechanism used in the tool can be guessed from the name, radar guns only emerged recently compared to radars themselves. The cause is the technology, which has only enabled accurate and portable measuring instruments a short time ago.
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Radar guns operate using the radar principle, utilizing radio waves or laser beams as the medium. According to Wolff and Hoel, the distance to an object can be measured by sending out a signal in its direction, waiting until the reflected energy returns to the sender, and measuring the time. However, according to Karthik, moving objects change the frequency of the waves upon collision via the Doppler effect.
The change is proportional to speed, allowing the gun to calculate the car’s speed based on the frequency difference. However, the technology requires extreme precision, and Bruno notes that slight miscalibrations may render the reading invalid. Nevertheless, radar guns are valuable additions to the arsenal of traffic police due to their potential when used correctly.
Regardless of the principle behind the emitter, radar guns universally operate based on the Doppler effect. They measure differences in frequency between output and input and calculate the speed of an object using the obtained data. The reason for the recent emergence of the instrument is technology advancement that has enabled the mounting of sensitive equipment and a sufficient power source into a portable tool without compromising the accuracy of the measurements. Nevertheless, radar guns require careful calibration and training to be used, and the instrument’s readings can be unreliable as a result.
Bruno, Glenn. “Radar Gun Evidence Can Be Challenged.” Glenn R. Bruno, Esq. Web.
Karthik, Narayani. “How Do Radar Guns Work?” ScienceStruck. Web.
Wolff, Christian, and Karina Hoel. “Radar Basics.” Radartutorial. Web.