ECHOLOCTION - BIOLOGICAL SONAR
- How it works - bats emit a sound (or sounds), known as echoes, at a frequency higher than we as humans can hear. The bounce-back from those echoes gives them a mental picture of the objects in front of them. Since bats can detect an object as fine as a human hair, their abilities far exceed anything that man has been able to invent, based on their study of bats, i.e., sonar/radar.
- Speed of sound - sound travels through air at a rate of 340 meters per second.
- Measuring time - A bat 1 meter away from its intended target will receive the bounce-back in about 3 one thousandths of a second. Since both the bat and its intended 'meal' are both moving at incredible speeds (45mph to 60 mph) it proves that bats have an uncanny ability to measure both time and distance.
- Echoes per second - Bats can emit 200 echoes per second. Yes, per second.
- Frequencies/Sending-Receiving/Doppler - some bats send on one frequency and receive on another but some bats send and receive on the same frequency, separating pulse from echo, that is known as Doppler.
- Spallanzani/Griffin - An Italian scientist by the name of Spallanzani first experimented with bats and owls. Both mysterious creatures that traveled in the night. He captured both species but quickly noticed that the owls hunted the bats and consumed them. He then blinded all of the animals, to give them an even playing field, however, the owls quickly died while the bats continued to thrive. It was then that he told people that bats could 'see with their ears'. In the very simplest explanation of echolocation it is having the ability to see with your ears but folks thought he was crazy. It was not until the 1930's that an American by the name of Donald Griffin termed the phenomenal feat - echolocation.
- U.S. Navy - It was through the Navy's work with bats that sonar was developed.