CHIRP Sonar Technology Explained

Many of the latest fish finder models come with CHIRP technology, or at least are CHIRP compatible. So, I’m pretty sure many anglers wonder, what exactly this new feature is. Here’s an explanation, and I’m going to try to put it in simple words.

First of all, CHIRP stands for Compressed High Impact Radar Pulse. The technology was actually developed quite many years ago, in the 1950s, and was intended for radar use. Nowadays it has many applications and one of them if fish finding.

So, how does it work? What makes it superior to standard sonar technology?

To put it simply, a standard technology sonar emits a one, single frequency signal at one time, and due to this fact, it receives feedback only from that one, single frequency signal. In other words, it receives less information to work with, which results in a poor quality image, and a high level of noise.

Now, what makes CHIRP different and superior to conventional sonar technology, is that it sends a sequence of signals, instead of only one, and the signals in each sequence range from low to high. Each signal from each sequence is individually interpreted, resulting in a much higher amount of information analyzed, which leads to clearer, high resolution images.


Due to this fact, the sonar returns can be much easily interpreted. The sonar returns lack in noise and feature a superior individual target separation. In other words, an angler can distinguish much better the fish within a school of fish, the fish or schools of fish feeding near the bottom, or larger fish feeding within a cloud of bait fish.