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ANALYSIS OF TELECOMMUNICATION TOWER SUBJECTED TO

SEISMIC & WIND LOADING
Jithesh Rajasekharan1, S Vijaya2
¹PG Student, Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. A.I.T, Bengaluru, VTU, Karnataka, India
²Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. A.I.T, Bengaluru, VTU, Karnataka, India
Abstract—: The four legged self-supporting towers are widely used worldwide for the telecommunication
purposes. The communication industries have seen a tremendous increase in last few years which have resulted in
installation of large number of towers to increase the coverage area and network consistency. In wireless communication
network these towers play a significant role hence failure of such structure in a disaster is a major concern. Therefore
utmost importance should be given in considering all possible extreme conditions for designing these towers. In most
studies the researches have considered the effect of wind only on the four legged self-supporting towers. In this
dissertation, studies are been carried out on models of varying heights with different bracing for seismic along with the
wind effect. The wind effect on the structure is studied by using the gust factor method and the seismic effect on the
structure is studied by carrying out the modal analysis and response spectrum analysis. The results obtained from the
above analysis are tabulated, compared and conclusions are drawn.
Keywords — Telecommunication towers; Bracings; Wind Analysis; Gust factor method; Modal analysis; Response spectrum
analysis

I. INTRODUCTION

Communication towers or lattice towers are classified into three categories that are Guyed masts,
monopole and self-supporting towers. The structure engineer faces the challenging job of designing and
constructing telecommunication towers to support antenna loads, platform as well as steel ladder loads in
open weather with high degree of reliability. The major cause of failures of telecommunication tower
throughout the world though still remains to be high intensity winds (HIW). The major problem faced is
the difficulty in estimating wind loads as they are based on a probabilistic approach. There has been
several studies in telecommunication towers taking into consideration the wind as well as dynamic effect.
Lefort investigated the effects of wind and earthquake loads on the self-supporting antenna towers and it is
reported that for towers, seismically induced member forces may exceed forces obtained from service and
wind load calculations. . Amiri and Booston (2002) studied the dynamic response of antenna-supporting
structures. In this regard, self-supporting steel telecommunication towers with different heights were
evaluated considering the wind and earthquake loads. A comparison is made between the results of wind
and earthquake loading. These comparisons resulted in the necessity of considering earthquake loads in
tower analysis and design.

Jithesh,Vijaya

Page 68

40m and 50m. The objective of this dissertation work is to study the effect of wind load on tower structures for different wind zones using gust factor and also to study the seismic effect on the tower structures by carrying out the modal analysis and response spectrum analysis. comparison is made between roof top tower and ground tower. The tower have been modelled as 3D space frame using the finite element in STADD. of 2m Panel 5 6 7 Fig 1: 30m Towers with Different Bracings Considered Jithesh. carried out the wind analysis on antenna towers with static & gust factor method. Displacements. H (2010). of 4m Panel 5 7 9 No.Nitin Bhosale et al. Modelling of Towers The lattice tower is designed for three heights of 30m. The table II shows the member properties assigned to the towers. Pro 2007 software. (2013) have carried out study on the influence of modelling in lattice mobile towers under wind loading where in the towers are analysed for gust factor wind. XB. Member forces and maximum stress have been compared to find out the effect on towers. The fig 1 shows 30m towers with different types of bracing considered in this study. The details of the towers are given in table I for various heights. II. and Y. Siddesha. Richa Bhatt et al. (2012) have carried out the seismic response of 4 legged telecommunication towers under the effect of design spectrum from the Indian code of practice for zone – IV. TABLE I Details of Different Towers Height of Tower 30 40 50 Height of Slant Portion 20 28 36 Height of Straight Portion at Top of Tower 10 12 14 Base Width 5 5 5 Top Width 2 2 2 No. This paper helps in understanding the effect of both wind and seismic forces on the tower structures by considering different conditions. XX. The towers are provided with different types of bracings such as K. MODELLING AND LOADING DETAILS A. The axial forces of the tower member is considered.Vijaya Page 69 . the displacements at the top of the tower with angle and square sections are considered.

28 9 10 28 30 11.65 23.93 27.82 kN/m2 is applied at 26m.5 2 3 4 Microwave Microwave Microwave 1 1 2 1.91 7.99 23.Vijaya Page 70 .24 9.81 8.91 24.42 24.03 10.49 22. 36m. Loads Acting on Tower A platform load of 0. The table IV shows the wind load calculated for 30m tower similarly the wind loads can be calculated for 40m and 50m tower.47 12.77 7 24 9.2 0.03 23.21 11.83 7.18 20.64 2 8 20.38 21.58 6 22 7. Wind Load The wind load on the tower structure is calculated by using IS 875 (part 3): 1987 and IS 802 (Part 1: Sec1)-1995. no Item Qty Dia (m) (wxdxh) 1 CDMA 6 0.3 Weight/ Antenna (kg) 20 Location from Base (30m tower) 28m Location from Base (40m tower) 38m Location from Base (50m tower) 48m 77 45 25 24m 24m 24m 34m 34m 34m 44m 44m 44m C.26 16.64 14.13 19.36 23.58 9.48 10.85 11.44 26. and 46m respectively for 30m.93 14.26 8.24 7.08 (considering design life of 100 years).51 4 16 20.93 13. For the calculation of the wind load by the gust factor method the parameters considered are as follows: Wind zone V and VI .59 29. The antenna loads are summed up and distributed evenly to the nodes at the considered heights.49 11.71 26.90 25.49 18. The details of the antenna provided on the tower are given in the table III.21 19.45 9.63 24. the value of terrain and height factor k2 and the gust response factor G is calculated for category 1 that is open terrain category.6 0.26 x 2. The weight of the ladder and cage assembly is assumed to be 10% of total weight.48 10.50 14.15 24.81 Jithesh.20 9.51 20. the risk coefficient factor k1 considered is 1.48 13.36 23. basic wind speed is 50m/s and 55m/s.66 10.99 27.59 21.53 22.82 10. No.78 22.39 11.0 (flat terrain).78 28.16 10.13 23.42 7.97 8.98 9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 30 m 40m 50m 0-12 0-16 0-20 12-20 16-28 20-36 21-30 28-40 36-50 Member Description Section Leg member ISA 200 x 200 x 25 Bracing ISA 150 x 150 x 10 Leg member ISA 200 x 200 x 15 Bracings Leg member Bracings ISA 130 x 130 x 10 ISA 110 x 110 x 12 ISA 90 x 90 x 10 B.07 8. topography factor k3 = 1.50 9.69 8 26 7.09 8. TABLE IV Wind Load Acting on 30m Tower (kN) Case 1 (50m/s) Case 2 (55m/s) Panel No Distance (m) K XB XX Y K XB XX Y 1 4 22.88 21.47 8.70 8.83 19. TABLE III Antenna Loading for the Towers Sr.56 17.47 8.44 3 12 20.97 9.TABLE II Member Details of Tower Tower Elevation (m) Sr.50 26.68 24. 40m and 50m tower.13 19.88 12.18 5 20 18.62 9.

primary bracings. The structural system consists of leg member. 40m and 50m with the combination of bracing systems like K. B. The gust wind factor is taken into consideration for the analysis. STADD software is used in the analysis. The end conditions are considered as fixed end condition and the properties assigned to the models are kept same for all the models. The fig 3 (a-d) shows the variation in displacement at top for different towers and the fig 4 (a-d) shows the variation in stress at the bottom leg. Fig 2: Design Response Spectra for All the Seismic Zones III. The important factor (I) = 1. Then the modal analysis is carried out on the models to obtain the natural frequency and mode shape. The varying heights such as 30m. Dynamic load The dynamic loads are applied on the tower structure using IS 1893: part 1.Vijaya Page 71 . FE Analysis of Towers In this a typical structure of telecommunication tower of different heights and bracings is considered for the analysis. The joint displacement comparison is done in table V and member stress comparison is done in table VI. The displacement at top and member stress at bottom leg member as well as at change point is compared for all models. 2002. XX and Y are considered for the analysis. FE ANALYSIS AND RESULT DISCUSSIONS A. For the analysis purpose the acceleration spectrum have been prepared for zone II to zone V assuming soil condition as soft and damping as 5%. These deformation patterns are called mode shapes.5 and response reduction factor (R) = 5. After that the response spectrum analysis is carried out from the generated spectra shown in fig 2. The fig 2 shows the design response spectra for all the seismic zones. antenna load and wind load is the load take for the analysis of the models. Jithesh. The joint displacements at the top of the tower and the member stress at the base leg members are compared for different wind zones. The combination of dead load. and secondary bracings. Initially the wind analysis is carried out on the developed model. The response of the structure is different at each of the different natural frequencies.D. XB. Wind Analysis Results Wind analysis is carried out for two wind zones of basic wind speed 50 m/s and 55 m/s.

14 K 32.85 92. The tower with Y bracing has the highest joint displacement in the considered models whereas K bracing have the least displacement. TABLE VI Comparison of Member stresses (N/mm2) at Bottom Leg Tower Height (m) Jithesh.Vijaya Case 1 (50 m/s) Bracing Case 2 (55 m/s) Bracing Page 72 .80 ( (a) (b) (c) (d) Figure 3 (a-d): Variation of Displacement (mm) at Top for Different Tower Fig 3 (a-d) indicates that the displacement increases as the height of masts increases.00 Case 1 (50 m/s) Bracing K 27.70 102.33 90. As the mast height increases from 30m to 40m the displacement increases by 68% and from 40m to 50m the displacement increases by 60%.00 40.86 XX 35.36 272.15 264.07 107.67 211.60 226.18 XB 33.84 269.36 108.02 84.24 92.00 50.27 Case 2 (55 m/s) Bracing Y 28.39 256.13 Y 34.88 XX 29.07 222.TABLE V Comparison of Displacement at Top with Different Bracing Tower Height (m) 30.68 XB 27.92 109.62 218. When the wind speed increases from 50m/s to 55m/s then the joint displacement of tower at top increases by about 15% for all the models.

22 63.64 K 37.71 102.00 124. The natural frequency are tabulated in table VII.2 (a-d) shows the variation in stress pattern with respect to height of structure.51 58. C. The increment in stress is about 45% when tower height increases from 30m to 40m whereas when the tower height increases from 40m to 50m there is an increase of 40% in member stress at the bottom leg member. The member stress at bottom leg of XX bracing tower has higher stress as compared to other tower models.00 40.82 XB 37.00 K 31.00 50.27 63.53 74.44 62.21 120.35 100. The fig 5 shows the first mode shape of 50m tower with different bracings.51 75.57 Y 40.76 122. Modal Analysis Results In this analysis the overall mass and stiffness of a structure is used to find the various periods at which it will naturally resonate.30.08 95.09 73.33 (a) (c) XX 34.14 XB 31.23 113.36 69.Vijaya Page 73 .00 XX 40. When wind load increases from 50ms to 55 m/s there is an increase of 15% in member stress.92 (b) (d) Figure 4 (a-d): Comparison of Member Stress (N/mm2) at Bottom Leg The figure 8. Jithesh.05 Y 34. Modal analysis of the tower structures are carried out and the modal parameters such as natural frequency and mode shapes are obtained.88 104.

822 15.312 1. Comparison of member stress at change point is done in fig 8.879 XX 4.126 1.609 4.276 Y f = 1.32 Page 74 .876 4. The comparison of displacement is done in fig 6 and that of member stress at bottom leg is done in fig 7.994 10.914 1.Table VII Natural Frequencies of Telecommunication Towers (Hz) Height Bracings Mode K 4.06 2.94 2.822 4. D.941 6.849 2.965 2.660 XB XX f = 1.Vijaya Bracing K XB XX Y 1.202 1.914 Hz Fig 5: first mode shape of 50m tower Y 4.899 2.789 6. The stress at change point is tabulated in table X. Response Spectrum Analysis Results The Response spectra are generated as shown in fig 2 for the different seismic zones as specified by the IS 1893(part 1):2002 and the FE analysis is carried out.25 2. As the tower height increases the mass starts to play a major role than the stiffness of the structure there by reducing the natural frequency of the structure.899 13.789 Hz The comparison shows that the frequency of the tower with Y bracing have the least natural frequency since its stiffness is higher as the weight of the structure is more as compared to others.776 2.431 2.914 10. Table VIII Joint Displacement (mm) at Top of Tower Tower Height (m) Zone 30 II Jithesh.874 1. The Displacements and the member stresses at bottom leg obtained from the Response Spectrum Analysis are tabulated in table VIII and table IX respectively.994 4.609 9.874 9.874 Hz f = 1.725 7.941 1.725 2.789 1.954 8.895 2.755 Mode 1 Mode 2 Torsion Mode 1 Mode 2 Torsion Mode 1 Mode 2 Torsion 30 40 50 K f = 1.877 15.707 1.849 12.954 2.941 Hz XB 4.

76 27 30 6.75 50 16.58 3.64 11.75 11.00 24.38 7.62 7.63 30 4.07 10.92 5.28 19.00 17. Jithesh.46 8.Vijaya Page 75 .85 4.49 4. It can be observed from the graph that from zone II to zone III there is an increment in displacement of about 38% and from zone III to zone IV the displacement increases by 28%.89 34.85 18.26 50 10.75 23.08 7.80 8.80 11.23 12.12 17.46 16. As the zone varies from IV to V there is an increase in displacement of about 33% in 30m and 40m tower where as in 50 m tower there is an increase of about 40%.30 3.14 35.50 30 III 40 40 IV 40 V 50 (a) (c) (b) (d) Fig 6 (a-d): Comparison of Joint Displacement (mm) at Top of Tower The Fig 6 (a-d) shows the displacement pattern of joints with respect to different zones of earthquake.60 16.56 7.65 40.50 37.26 10.50 3.64 5.04 4.69 5.59 50 23.73 18.46 11.26 3. From the fig 6 it can be seen that from 30m to 40m the increase is nearly linear but as the height increases from 40m to 50m there is a steep increase in the displacement in all zones.40 4.96 7.

46 6.97 12.36 XX 5.14 11.15 7.68 10.08 (a) (b) (c) (d) Fig 7 (a-d): Member Stresses (N/mm2) at Bottom Leg The figure 7 (a-d) shows the variation of member stress at bottom leg member for different heights of tower.59 8. Jithesh.56 7.65 6.85 9. The tower with Y bracing is having the highest stress which is nearly 18% more than that of XX bracing which is having the least stress at bottom leg.08 10.78 14. In zone V when the height increases from 30m to 50m the increase in stress is about 45%.48 10.86 10.95 14.75 11.51 7.14 14.46 7.91 10.60 13.11 12.90 10.11 19.23 12. In zone IV as the tower height increases from 30m to 40m there is an increase in stress of about 28% whereas from 40m to 50m the increase is about 25% and in zone V the increase in stress from 30m to 40m is about 30% whereas from 40 to 50m it is about 25%.01 13.41 16.66 7.02 9.36 8.74 18.45 11.60 9.08 Y 6.26 22.35 9.24 13.70 8.45 9.67 XB 5.39 7.17 18.68 14.19 7.Vijaya Page 76 .Table IX Member Stresses (N/mm2) at Bottom Leg Tower Height (m) 30 40 50 30 40 50 30 40 50 30 40 50 Zone II III IV V Bracing K 5.55 10.90 6.80 17.

94 8. CONCLUSION The following are the major conclusions drawn from this study: • • • • • • • From the wind analysis it can be observed that the increase in joint displacement is nearly 68% when tower height increases from 30m to 40m and when tower height increases from 40m to 50m the displacement is likely to increase by 60%. Jithesh.42 9.72 11. For an increase in wind speed from 50 to 55 m/s with no change in direction the displacement as well as the member stresses increase by 15% to 17%.22 9.15 16.54 22.58 14.58 30 40 50 30 40 50 30 40 50 30 40 50 Bracing II V By comparing the table X and IX it can be noted that the member stress for XX bracing is more at the change point making it the critical section.06 12.97 13.76 11.89 Y 6.35 17.59 8. It can also be noted that the tower of 30m height is also showing the stress at the change point more than that of leg member in all zones.10 IV 11.57 18.82 XX 6.28 12.11 18.67 7. IV.25 15.29 10.53 10.21 10.64 17.86 8. This is due to the influence of mass as the height increases the mass starts to play predominate role than stiffness there by reducing the natural frequency of the structure.09 13.Vijaya Page 77 .20 10. The stress at change point is nearly 15% more than that at leg member. There is gradual decrease in the natural frequency of the structure as the height of tower increases.50 8. This is due to the presence of antenna structures close to the change point and also the change in properties at the top portion of tower.77 XB 5.44 9. This is due to the absence of horizontal bracing in the tower.14 9. In wind analysis the joint displacement is more for the tower with Y bracings whereas the member stress at bottom leg is more for the tower with XX bracing due to the absence of horizontal bracing.42 8.62 14.60 10.68 13.42 14.Table X Member Stresses (N/mm2) on Leg at Change Point Tower Height (m) Zone K 5.25 8.84 6.95 10.04 8.04 10.09 21. The tower with Y bracing is having most displacement and the tower with K bracing is having the least on the compared models.71 16. In the response spectrum analysis the increase in displacement is about 38% from zone II to zone III whereas from zone III to IV the increase is about 28% and from zone IV to Zone V the increase in displacement is about 35%.93 III 6.78 7.16 13. The change in stress when height increases from 30 to 40m is about 45% and from 40 to 50m is 39% on both cases of wind speeds. In zone V as the height increases from 30m to 40m there is an increase in stress of about 30% whereas from 40m to 50m there is an increase of about 25% and when the height changes from 30m to 50m there is an increase of about 45% in stress.27 13.

B. September 2012. the member supporting the antenna structures at higher elevation are likely to have large influence on the behavior of the tower. Volume 2 Issue 3. [5] Nitin Bhosale. Jesumi. Massah (2004): “Seismic Behavior of 4-Legged Self-Supporting Telecommunication Towers”. Dr. 2010. Canada. Ghodrati Amiri.. and Lande Abhijeet C.H (2010): “Wind Analysis of Microwave Antenna Towers”. Volume 3.1-9. and S. IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. 2.I. International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Technology. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications. No. [3] G. Jithesh. In those models either change of property can be done or combination of bracings can be used and redesigned. All the models have been checked for Indian standards. International Journal of Engineering. Department of Civil Engineering. for their direct or indirect support during the work. for his constant support and encouragement throughout my work. Barkhordari. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the staff members. ISSN 0976 – 4399. I express my sincere thanks and regards to Dr. Dr.T.A. International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering Volume 2. [2] Amiri G. [6] Patil Vidya M. A. pp. ISSN 0976-4259. The vertical members are more prominent in taking the loads of the tower than the horizontal and diagonal member. No 3. Volume 20. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research.C. Professor and Head of Civil Engineering Department. ISSN: 2278-1684. R.• • • • It can be observed that in response spectrum analysis the stress for tower with XX bracing is more at the change point leg than that of the bottom leg member this is due to the absence of horizontal bracing along the tower.G. ISSN: 2277-1581. (2012): “Structural Response of Lattice Steel Masts for Seismic Loading”. No 3.D. ISSN: 2248-9622.I. M. A. 4th Structural Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. April 2013. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank Almighty and my family.Pandey and Vipul Prakash (2013): “Influence of Modeling in the Response of Steel Lattice Mobile Tower under Wind Loading”. A.D (2012): “Influence of Host Structure Characteristics on Response of Rooftop Telecommunication Towers”. (2002): “Dynamic Response of Antenna-Supporting Structures”. August 2004. Bengaluru.. 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering Vancouver. B Shivakumaraswamy. and M. and Boostan A. August 2007. Volume 1. R. Bengaluru. April 2013. [4] G. [7] Richa Bhatt. Dindigul. February 2012. The tower model of 50m with XB bracing and Y bracings fails in wind load for 55m/s and all the other models pass in both the wind cases and seismic zones. Ghodrati Amiri and S.A. [8] Siddesha.Vijaya Page 78 . Issue 2. From the above analysis it can be concluded that the wind is the predominate factor in the tower modelling than the seismic forces but the seismic effect cannot be fully neglected as observed from the results. Rajendran (2013): “Optimal Bracing System for Steel Towers”. Prabhat Kumar and Pandey. Massah (2007): “Seismic Response of 4-Legged Self-Supporting Telecommunication Towers”. REFERENCES [1] A.T.

Loads and Permissible Stresses. New Delhi. Part 3: Wind Loads. Part 1: General Provisions and Buildings. Jithesh. [11] IS: 875 (part 3):1987.Vijaya Page 79 . [12] IS: 1893 (part 1): 2002. Bureau of Indian Standards. Bureau of Indian Standards. Bureau of Indian Standards. Part 1: Materials. New Delhi. Indian Code of Practice for Design Loads (other than Earthquake) for Buildings and Structures. Indian Standard Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures. Indian Code of Practice for Use of Structural Steel in Overhead Transmission Line Towers. Indian Standard Code of Practice for General Construction in Steel. [10] IS: 802 (part1/sec1): 1995. New Delhi. Bureau of Indian Standards. New Delhi.[9] IS800:1984.