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Random information on the term “SONAR”:
An acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) is a hydroacoustic current meter similar to a sonar, used to measure water current velocities over a depth range using the Doppler effect of sound waves scattered back from particles within the water column. The term ADCP is a generic term for all acoustic current profilers, although the abbreviation originates from an instrument series introduced by RD Instruments in the 1980s. The working frequencies range of ADCPs range from 38 kHz to several Megahertz. The device used in the air for wind speed profiling using sound is known as SODAR and works with the same underlying principles.
ADCPs contain piezoelectric transducers to transmit and receive sound signals. The traveling time of sound waves gives an estimate of the distance. The frequency shift of the echo is proportional to the water velocity along the acoustic path. To measure 3D velocities, at least three beams are required. In rivers, only the 2D velocity is relevant and ADCPs typically have two beams. In recent years, more functionality has been added to ADCPs (notably wave and turbulence measurements) and systems can be found with 2,3,4,5 or even 9 beams.