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Transponder definition

A transponder is a device used to receive electrical signals and emit different signals in response. The transponder receives an interrogator signal, converts the frequency, and responds to the signal in a different predetermined frequency. This allows both signals to be detected simultaneously.

Transponder use cases

Aviation. Pilots receive a signal and respond with their identification code, which includes their altitude. Transponders also help to amplify the aircraft’s signal and make it more visible on a radar.

Sonar devices. Transponders help calculate depth and distance underwater and mark and trace positions. Calculations are done by measuring the time that passes between sending and receiving signals.