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Wind Load on Dish Antenna

Wind load is calculated by multiplying the stagnation pressure by the coefficient of drag (and lift if the shape is likely to produce lift) and by the cross-sectional area presented to the wind. The stagnation pressure is the pressure due to the unit kinetic energy of the fluid flow. (A fluid is something that flows; it could be gas or liquid) I don't know what unit system you are used to but the calculations are much more simple in the metric system so I will give you a metric example (you can translate it by multiplying by the appropriate conversion factors - otherwise ask me). For Sydney, NSW, Australia (it is probably typical of a lot of places) the design wind speed (wind speed expected to occur once in every 100 years) is 47 m/s (170 km/h or 105 MPH). The stagnation pressure is half the density of the fluid (air) times the square of the velocity. ie 0.5 x 1.2 kg/m3 x 47m/s x 47m/s = 1325 Pa (A Pascal is one N/m2) For the grid dish which is 3 feet x 2 feet that is 0.6 metres x 0.9 metres which is 0.54 m2. If this was a solid dish, and you use it for automatically tracking satellites (it could be aimed in the worst direction for wind loading at a time of high wind) you would use the worst case coefficient of drag for a dish shape which is 1.2. For the open grid dish which is basically a collection of "rods" as far as the wind is concerned, then a coefficient of drag of 1.0 would be appropriate. The dish area used in the calculation would be the area which resists the wind which is probably about two thirds of the area of a solid dish. For the grid dish in Sydney for example:Area = 0.54 x 2/3 = 0.36 m2 Drag Coefficient = 1.0 Stagnation Pressure = 1325 Pa Wind Load = 0.36 x 1.0 x 1325 = 477 N (48.7 Kgf or 107 lbs)

There are complicated ways of reducing the design wind speed but if you use the basic design wind speed you design will be safe. If you are more that 50km from the coast you would be unlikely to be subject to tropical cyclones (hurricanes) so unless you have tornadoes in you area the 47m/s is probably OK in absence of other information. In Australia the design wind speed for areas subject to Tropical Cyclones is 85m/s which probably cover most of the world worst weather scenario.