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INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFAPPLIEDENGINEERINGRESEARCH,DINDIGUL

Volume1,No 3,2010
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RESEARCHARTICLE

ISSN 09764259

WindAnalysisofMicrowaveAntennaTowers
Siddesha.H
Lecturer,DepartmentofCivilEngineering,S.I.T.,Tumkur,Karnataka,India.
siddeshah@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
Openlatticedsteeltowersareusedwidelyinavarietyofcivilengineeringapplications.The
angle sections are commonly used in microwave antenna towers. This paper presents, the
analysis of microwave antenna tower with Static and Gust Factor Method (GFM). The
comparison is made between the tower with angle and square hollow section. The
displacementatthetopofthetowerisconsideredasthemainparameter.Theanalysisisalso
donefordifferentconfigurationbyremovingonememberaspresentintheregulartowerat
lowerpanels.
Keywords:GFM,panels,configuration,displacement
1.Introduction
WhileCommunicationSatellitesareusedforsendingandreceivinginformationsignals,very
tall towers are required fortransmission of signalsthrough antennae. Tall towers are being
used by different agencies such as television and radio departments, telecommunication
industry, defense, railways and police for their communication network. The microwave
towers, which are space structures in steel, carry mainly communication antennae. These
towers are mostly square in plan, made of standard steel angles and connected together by
means of bolts and nuts. Triangular towers attract lesser wind loads compared with square
towers. However they are usedonly for smaller heights of towerduetodifficulties in joint
detailingandfabricationusinganglesections(Gomathinayagam,S,June2000).
Ultimately, the general availability of a wide range of square, rectangular, and round
structuraltubingincreased.Theuseoftubularjointsgreatlyimprovedtheaestheticqualities
ofthetruss,andthehigherloadcarryingcapacityofthestructuralcapacityofthestructural
tube members provided a wide range of applications for a triangular cross section truss.
Tubularsectionsareusedfortrussmembers,therangeofdifferentstandardshapesandsizes
produced is muchless than wide flange shapes and availability of some standard shapes is
stilllimited.
Inordertoreducetheunsupportedlengthandthusincreasetheirbucklingstrength,themain
legsandthebracingmembersarelaterallysupportedatintervalsinbetweentheirendnodes,
using secondary bracings or redundants. These secondary bracings increase the buckling
strength of the main compression members (N.Prasad Rao, September 2001), K and X
bracingwithsecondarybracingswerecommonlyusinginmicrowavetowers.
Optimization is the art of obtaining best results under given conditions. An optimization
problemconsistsofafunction,whichistobeoptimized,andwithorwithoutconstraints.The
constraints are the conditions to be satisfied during optimization. Optimal design methods
assist engineers to evolve the bestpossible designs in terms of cost, weight, reliability ora
combination of these parameters. As for as tower and tower like structures are concerned
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limitingthedisplacementandstressestoallowablelimitsoptimizestheweightusingdifferent
sections. Many methods have been developed and are in use for design optimization of
structural systems. Structural optimization using mathematical programming was very
expensive in the early stages of its development and hence applications to problems were
limitedinscope.Recentadvancesincomputerhardwarehaveencouragedresearchestogive
anewthrusttostructuraloptimization.
Thestructuresliketowersandmastsaresensitivetodynamicwindload.Theneedtodesigna
latticetowerconsideringresonantdynamicresponsetowindloadsariseswhentheirnatural
frequencies are low enough to be excited by the turbulence in the natural wind (J.D.
Holmes,1994).These types of structures, which arevulnerable to wind inducedoscillations
are required to be examined for dynamic effects of wind. Further, the structural loads
producedbywindgustsdependofthesize,naturalfrequencyanddampingofthestructurein
addition to the inherent wind turbulence. One of the approaches used for evaluating the
dynamicresponseoflatticetowersistheGFM(Abraham,AugustSeptember2005).
DynamiceffectsofwindfordesignoflatticetowersareconsideredinGFM.Inthisapproach,
theequivalentwindloadingisequaltothemeanwindforcemultipliedbyaGustFactor.This
loadisappliedasanequivalentstaticloadingonstructures.Thisfactorisafunctionofwind,
terrain and structural characteristics. The Gust present in strong winds are caused by
mechanicaldisturbancetotheflowresultingfromtheroughnessofthegroundsurface(T.A.
Wyatt,October1984).
StewartsandLloydsfirstintroducedthehollowstructuralsectionsin1952,theyhavebecome
increasinglypopularasstructuralelements,mainlyduetotheirstructuraladvantagelikehigh
torsional capacity, structural efficiency and aesthetic qualities (A.N. Nayak, November
1997).Lessworkhasbeenreportedintheliteratureswithregardstosquarehollowsections
usedintowerstructures.
Manyofthetowerswerefailedforwindloadswithlegandbracemembersinanglesections.
Afewexamplesare:thefailureof101mtallmicrowavetower,duringNov.1989,atkavali,
AndhraPradesh,andthecollapseof101mmicrowavetowerduringNov.1996atRavalepalm,
AndhraPradesh,duetocyclonicwindforces.InJune1998eightmicrowavetowersofheight
80100m collapsed during cyclone, which ravaged Kutch region of Gujrat. These failures
revealedtheimportanceofinvestigatingthestaticanddynamiceffectsofwindoftalltower
structureswithanglesections.Itisnecessarytoreplacetheanglesectioninmicrowavetower
withdifferentsectionsandconfiguration.
2.Modelingandanalysisoftower
The modeling and analysis of tower is done by using ANSYS software. For the present
analysis, the members of the tower are modeled by using BEAM 188 element. Several
authors have done the experimental (P.Harikrishna, 2003, and K.Hiramatsu, 1988) and
analytical investigations by using various finite element softwares (J.G.S. da Silva, 2005,
M.J.Glanville,1995andP.J.Murtagh,2004).

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2.1Materialproperties
Themostwidelyusedcommercialstructuralmateriallowcarbonsteel(C14)withDensity
7870 kg/m3, Tensile strength (yield) 415 Mpa, Modulus of Elasticity200 Gpa, has been
selectedforthestudy.Thechemicalcomposition ofthesectionusedinthepresentanalysis
hasbeenshownin Table1.
Table1:ChemicalComposition
Composition

Fe

Mn

0.120.18

99.1399.58

0.30.6

<=0.04

<=0.05

2.2TowerConfigurationandSections
Inthisstudy,a40mheighttowerofsquareinplanisconsideredwhichishavingabasewidth
of4mandreducesto1.91matthetop.Theanalysishasbeendoneforthefollowingsections
inregulartowerconfigurationfortheentiretowerasshownin Figure1.Thesectionsadopted
forthisconfigurationareasbelow,
AtowerwithLegandbracingmembersasAngleSections(LA&BA)
A tower with Leg members as Square Hollow and bracing members as Angle
Sections(LS&BA)
AtowerwithLegandbracingmembersasSquareHollowSections(LS&BS).
Thetotalweightofthetoweriskeptnearlyconstantforallthesesections.Thewindloadhas
been calculated using static method and GFM. The calculated values have been applied on
thetower.
The analysis is alsodone for different configuration with different sections at bottom first,
second and both the panels. The remaining bracings in panels (that is from 3rd to14th) are
keptconstant intermsofconfigurationandsectionsasinregulartower(thatiscasei).The
sectionsadoptedforlegmembersaresimilarasexplainedabove(thatiscaseitoiii),butfor
bracing members the sectional dimensions were changed. In the present work X, X and
Horizontal and X and M bracing have been used. The configuration of which have been
shown inFigure2toFigure4.
In this study, the loads calculated from regular tower with angle sections is applied on all
configurationandsectionsunderstaticandGFM,inordertoanalysetheperformanceofthe
tower.

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Figure1: ViewsofRegularMicrowaveTower,a.3D,b.Front

Figure2: ConfigurationsofthemicrowavetoweratlowerFirstPanel,a.X,b.Xand
Horizontalbracing,c.XandMbracing

Figure3: ConfigurationsofthemicrowavetoweratlowerSecondPanel,a.X,b.Xand
Horizontalbracing,c.XandMbracing

Figure4: ConfigurationsofthemicrowavetoweratlowertwoPanels,a.X,b.Xand
Horizontalbracing,c.XandMbracing

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2.3BoundaryconditionsandLoading
Allthetowerconfigurationsusedinthisstudyareassumedasrigidlyconnectedatthebase
andalldegreesoffreedomatthebottomnodesarerestrained.Figure5(a)showsthePanels
consideredforthecalculationofwindloads.Figure5(b)showsthevariationofwindloadsat
differentpanels.InGFM,dampingratiosof0.02(Structural)aspertheIS:875(part3)1987
and0.04(StructuralandAerodynamic)wereconsidered (Abraham,Augustseptember2005).
Theaerodynamicdamping forceariseswhenthe relativemotionbetweenthetowerandthe
windisconsidered (J.D.Holmes,1996).
Forthecalculationofwindloadsbystaticmethodthefollowingparameterswereconsidered
asperIS:875(part3)1987.Windspeed55m/s,Riskcoefficient(k1)1.08,Terrain, height
and structure size factor (k2) category 2 and class B (assumed), Topography factor (k3)1
(assumed).ForthecalculationsofwindloadsbyGFMfollowingparameterswereconsidered
as per IS: 875 (part 3)1987. Wind speed 55m/s, Risk coefficient (k1)1.08, Terrain and
heightfactor(k2 )category2(assumed),Topographyfactor(k3)1(assumed).
The antenna loads have been calculated as reported in the early literature
(Gomathinayagam,S,June 2000 and Sujatha Unnikrishnan.2002) A 3mdiameter paraboloid
type antenna without radome is considered in the present analysis. It is assumed that the
antennaismountedataheightof40meter(thatistopofthetower)ononeofthelegmember
facingnormaltothedirectionofwind.Thewindincidenceanglefortheantennaisassumed
aszerodegrees.Thegustfactoristakenasunity.Thewindforcealongthedirectionofthe
windisobtainedas25044.06N.ThisantennaloadisusedinboththeMethodsandisapplied
forallotherconfigurations.
a

300 00
b

Static Method

250 00

GFMf or2% damping

Loads(N)

GFMf or4% damping


200 00
150 00
100 00
50 00
0
1

11

13

Pan e ls

Figure5: Windloadcalculation,a.Panelsofregularmicrowavetower,b.Variation ofloads


atdifferentPanels

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3ResultsandDiscussions
3.1Modalanalysisoftower
In the present study, the modal analysis of the tower is carried out by Subspace iteration
method. The modal analysis helps in computation of natural frequencies and the
corresponding mode shapes of the structure, which essentially depends on distribution of
stiffness and mass within the structure. The natural frequencies obtained through modal
analysisareshown inTable2.Firstthreemodeshapesofthetowerareshown inFigure6.
Thefirstmodalfrequencyofthetoweristakenforwindloadcalculation fromGFM.
Table 2:NaturalfrequenciesusingModalAnalysis
Mode

Frequency(Hz)

0.723542

0.723817

1.82300

Figure6:Modeshapes,a.First, b.Second,c.Third

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3.2DisplacementatthetopofMicrowaveAntennatowerforregularconfigurationwith
differentsections.
Inthepresentanalysis,thedisplacementofmicrowaveantennatoweratthetop40mlevelhas
been considered as the main parameter. Aregular tower with different sections and regular
configurationhasbeenstudiedunderstaticandGFM.
Figure 7 show the variation of displacement at the top of the regular tower for different
sections.WindforcescalculatedbystaticmethodandGFMwereevaluatedearlier.InGFM,
theGustFactor(G)hastobemultipliedwiththedesignwindpressure.So,thedesignwind
forces in GFM (for 2% and 4% damping) get increased as compared to the static method.
However,for4%damping(structuralandaerodynamic),Gvaluesgetreducedascompared
to2%(structural)damping.Hence,Figure7(b)illustrates,thedisplacementatthetopofthe
towergetsreducedfor4%dampingin GFM.

0.29

0.36

Displacements(m)

Displacements(m)

a
0.285

0.28

0.275

0.35

2%Damping

4%Damping

0.34
0.33
0.32
0.31
0.3
0.29

0.27
LA&BA

LS&BA

Sections

LS&BS

LA&BA

LS&BA

LS&BS

Sections

Figure7: VariationofDisplacementattopwithdifferentcrosssectionsinregulartower,a.
Staticmethod,b.GFM
The square hollow sections used in tower shows a maximum reduction of displacement in
comparison with angle sections. This is due to, the moment of inertia of square hollow
section is larger than angle section. Figure 7 illustrates the regular tower with LS & BS
showsmaximumreductionofdisplacementincomparisonwithLS&BAandLA&BA.
However,thereisnomuchreductionofdisplacementbetweenthetowerwithLS&BSand
LS&BA.
3.3 Displacement at the top of Microwave Antenna tower for different configuration
withdifferentsectionsatdifferentpanelsunderStaticandGFM.
WindforcescalculatedbystaticmethodandGFMwereevaluatedearlier.InGFM,theGust
Factor(G)hastobemultipliedwiththedesignwindpressure.So,thedesignwindforcein
GFM(for2%and4%damping)getsincreasedascomparedtothestaticmethod.However,
for 4% damping (structural and aerodynamic), G values get reduced as compared to 2%
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(structural) damping. Hence the displacement at the top of the tower will reduced for 4%
damping. Figure 8 and Figure 9 show the variation of displacement for different
configurationandsectionsbyboththesemethods.
As we know, by adding members or changing configuration in the panels stiffness of the
tower increases and thereby displacement of the tower gets reduces. From Figure 8 and
Figure9,XandMbracingwillshowsthemaximumreductionofdisplacementascompared
toXandXandHorizontalbracinginboththemethods.
Thebendingmomentincreaseswithincreaseindistancefromthepointofapplicationofthe
force.Sinceantennaloadisappliedatthetoppointofthetower,thelowerfirstpanelwithX
andMbracingshowsmaximumreductionofdisplacementascomparedtolowersecondand
lowertwopanels.
The square hollow sections used in tower shows a maximum reduction of displacement in
comparison with angle sections. This is due to, the moment of inertia of square hollow
sectionis largerthananglesection. FromFigure8andFigure9,thetowerwithLS&BS
showsmaximumreductionofdisplacementincomparisonwithLS&BAandLA&BA.
The top line in Figure8 shows the regular towerwith angle section, which is taken for the
comparison.However,thereisnomuchreductionofdisplacementbetweenthetowerwithL
S&BSandLS&BA.

Displacements(m)

0.295

0.29
0.285
0.28
0.275

LA&BA
LS&BA
LS&BS

0.27
0.265

Regular Xbracing Xand


XandM
tow er
Horizontal bracing
Configuration bracing

Displacements(m)

0.295

0.29
0.285
0.28
0.275

LA&BA
LS&BA
LS&BS

0.27
0.265
Regular
tow er

Xbracing

Xand
Horizontal
Configuration bracing

XandM
bracing

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0.295

Displacements(m)

c
0.29
0.285
0.28
0.275
LA&BA
LS&BA
LS&BS

0.27
0.265
Regular
tow er

Xbracing

Xand
Horizontal
Configuration bracing

XandM
bracing

Figure 8: Displacementattopofthetowerfordifferentsectionswithdifferentconfiguration
fromStaticmethod,a.Lowerfirstpanel,b.Lowersecondpanel,c.Lowertwopanels

0.36

Displacemetnts(m)

a
0.35
0.34
0.33
0.32
0.31
0.3
0.29
LA&BA

LS&BA

LS&BS

Configuration
2%Xbracing
2%XandMbracing
4%XandHorizontalbracing

2%XandHorizontalbracing
4%Xbracing
4%XandMbracing

0.36

Displacements(m)

b
0.35
0.34
0.33
0.32
0.31
0.3
0.29
LA&BA

LS&BA

LS&BS

Configuration
2%Xbracing
2%XandMbracing
4%XandHorizontalbracing

2%XandHorizontalbracing
4%Xbracing
4%XandMbracing

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Displacements(m)

0.36
0.35

0.34
0.33
0.32
0.31
0.3
0.29
LA&BA

LS&BA

LS&BS

Configuration
2%Xbracing
2%XandMbracing
4%XandHorizontalbracing

2%XandHorizontalbracing
4%Xbracing
4%XandMbracing

Figure9: Displacementattopofthetowerfordifferentsectionswithdifferentconfiguration
fromGFM,a.Lowerfirstpanel,b.Lowersecondpanel,c.Lowertwopanels
4. Conclusions
The analysis of microwave antenna tower with different sections and configurations were
done for wind loads. The following conclusions may be drawn from the above analytical
results.
Square hollow sections can be used more effectively in leg members in comparison
withtheanglesectionsinregulartowerunderstaticandGFM.
Square hollow Sections used in bracings along with the leg members do not show
muchreductionofdisplacementcomparedtotowerwithSquareHollowsectionsused
inLegmembersunderstaticandGFMs.
X and M bracing in Square hollow Sections for legs and bracings at the lower first
panel shows a maximum reduction of displacement compared to the regular tower
withanglesectionsunderstaticandGFMs.
X and M bracing in Square hollow Sections for legs and bracings at the lower first
panelshowsamaximumreductionofdisplacementincomparisonwiththetowerwith
SquarehollowSectionsforlegsandbracingsinlowersecond,lowerfirstandsecond
panelswithdifferentconfigurationsinbothstaticandGFM.
5.References
1. Gomathinayagam,S., Shanmugasudaram,J., Harikrishna,P., Lakshmanan,N., and
Rajasekaran,C. (June 2000). Dynamic Response of Lattice Tower with Antenna
under WindLoading.J.ofTheInstitutionofEngineers(India),81, pp 3743.

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2. N.Prasad Rao, V. Kalyanaraman, (September 2001), Nonlinear behaviour of


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