Echolocation is the ability of animals to detect the location of objects from the sound waves that bounce off the objects. This phenomenon has been observed in whales, dolphins, bats and even some humans. It is normally used as a means of finding the way when a creature's eyesight is poor. Echolocation is also the basic principle used in sonar.
Animals That Use Echolocation
This project studies a single animal that uses echolocation. The animal could be a bat, dolphin, whale or shrew. The project studies how the animal produces sound waves and detects the echoes. A computer simulation could show the overlapping of the sound signal and the echo from an object. The project could also explore how evolution played a role in developing this capability. Information can be provided on the different uses of echolocation.
Humans have shown the ability to locate objects by sensing echoes bouncing off objects. This project explores how some blind people employ this technique by making sharp clicking noises. The projects identifies the advantages and limitations of human echolocation, including the smallest object size that can be detected through echolocation. It should also analyze the close relationship between seeing and hearing and also the brain mechanism for processing different forms of energy.
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Effects of Active Sonar on Marine Animals
Active sonar uses the principle of echolocation. It is used by naval ships, warfare and submarines. The project studies the harmful effect of active sonar on marine animals and explores the cause and effect of sonar on animals that use biosonar. Since some marine animals use echolocation as a means of navigation, sonar can confuse marine animals and also cause body damage. A project on this topic can also detail the different steps taken by governments around the world to minimize the effects on marine animals.
Active and Passive Locator
This project displays the difference between active and passive echolocators. It shows different examples of active and passive locators. It also studies the underlying mechanism in active and passive echolocation. The project lists different machines that employ the two different techniques. It can show different animals that are active and passive locators. The effect of noise on echolocation can also be studied.