active sensor

1. A detection device that requires input energy from a source other than that which is being sensed. Note: An example of an active sensor is a photoconductive cell. 2. In surveillance, a detection device that emits energy capable of being detected by itself. Note: An example of an active sensor is a measuring instrument that generates a signal, transmits it to a target, and receives a reflected signal from the target. Information concerning the target is obtained by comparison of the received signal with the transmitted signal. 3. A measuring instrument in the Earth exploration-satellite service or in the space research service by means of which information is obtained by transmission and reception of radio waves. [NTIA] [RR]