‘Sound Navigation and Ranging’ was invented in 1915. Conceived during World War One, sonar was used to detect submarines and determine distances under water.
The defence industry has since improved and developed sonar technology - many of the advances over the last four decades being patented by Abel + Imray. We weren’t the first mammals to use sonar however, having been pipped to the post by our ocean dwelling friends the whales and dolphins. Their sophisticated method of sonar is known as ‘echolocation’.
Sonar technology transformed oceanography, enabling us to map the sea floor and gain a deeper understanding of tectonic plates. And as our understanding of sonar grew, it gave birth to the arrival of ultrasound – which enabled us to be better equipped for birth through the use of ultrasound imaging. All in all, a resounding success.