Wind Load Testing Methodology for Measuring Drag Coefficient of Aerodynamically Efficient Base Station Antenna Profiles

On a cellular tower, the base station antennas account for a significant portion of the total wind load forces imparted on the tower’s structural members. To accurately calculate and account for antenna-based wind loads, tower engineers must have complete and precise data regarding antenna drag coefficients and wind loads. However, the standards-based drag coefficients cannot account for the unique, more aerodynamic antenna profiles such as those developed by CommScope.

To provide tower engineers the wind load data required, CommScope contracted with an independent third party to conduct wind tunnel testing in order to derive accurate and precise drag coefficients. The results characterize wind load performance for a variety of antenna profiles across a wide range of wind directions, from zero to 180 degrees. This paper details the methodology, results and analysis of the testing.

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