Antenna's Sistems for Digital Switch Over U.K.

Scotland: S1, S2 & Ch 5 Temporary antenna (project DSO U.K.) 2008/2009

Installation of an antenna system able to meet the requirements of the Digital Switch Over U.K.

About the project

Customer: Babcock Networks Ltd. (BNL)
Year of installation/test: 2008 & 2009 (S1)
Site: Durris, Scotland (near Aberdeen) - United Kingdom

Project aims

To replace existing analogue antennas (all UHF) with new antenna systems compliant with the technical specifications of Digital Switch Over U.K. and with new Health & Safety requirements (main antenna S1). For questions of practicality and quick installation, it was decided that Babcock Networks Ltd would have installed the main system, S1 with a helicopter having suitable lifting capacity (approx. 3.5 tons on the hook).

The proposed solution

For S1, SIRA made an antenna system of 12 tiers with 5 panels per tier, attached to a pentagonal shaped spine, having a face width of 570 mm. This solution was fully compliant with Health & Safety requirements, as it guaranteed a minimum net internal space equivalent to an ellipse of 500x400 mm, so as to allow access to the different parts of the antenna system by maintenance personnel. 
The S2 (permanent reserve antenna), a system comprised of 12 tiers with 15 panels per tier, was installed on a vacant but rather large mast section (approx. 1.5 m), which meant it was necessary to use a "wrap-around" configuration. This antenna was installed and used for several months while waiting for the S1 antenna to be put into service.

The final antenna built by SIRA for this site was the temporary system for Channel 5, installed to allow the end user to broadcast its signal over a different area to that of the other broadcasters until it was possible to use the final omnidirectional system. For reasons of available tower space, a rather unusual solution was used, with four tiers of panels where each tier was a "cluster" of 3 panels and almost facing the opposite way to a single panel, which was in fact the fourth face of the system.

All antenna systems were first tested in the factory and then by helicopter after installation on the mast. The pattern tests from the helicopter confirmed the measurements taken in the factory prior to dispatch to the site, and the end customer was completely satisfied.

 

 

The benefits

The solutions adopted by SIRA for the antenna systems installed at the Durris site brilliantly solved the problems linked to the lack of suitable mast sections on which to create the antennas (the "wrap-around" and temporary solution for Channel 5). The choice of a pentagonal shaped S1 antenna system fitted at the top of the tower fully meets with the requirements for internal accessibility as required by safety regulations and at the same time, it made quick and safe installation possible using a helicopter. All this has been accompanied by electrical performance of the highest level.

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