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Title: Atmospheric icing on communication masts in New England
Authors: Mulherin, Nathan D.
Keywords: Antennas
Cold weather conditions
Atmospheric precipitation
Radio towers
Cold regions
Ice formation
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 86-17.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: Rime icing and freezing precipitation are of concern to the radio and television broadcasting industry. This report contains the results of a study seeking to document the severity and extent of transmitter tower icing and related problems in the northeastern United States. Information was obtained via mail questionnaire and telephone interviews with 85 station owners and engineers concerning 118 different stations. Results show that television and FM broadcasters are seriously impacted by tower icing; however, AM operators are usually not affected by expected New England icing levels. Combined annual costs for icing protection and icing-related repairs averaged $121, $402 and $3066 for AM, FM and TV stations respectively. None of the AH stations polled employ any icing protection measures whereas all the TV stations do. The percentage of FM stations having icing protection in the three northern states averaged 80%, indicating a significant concern for icing in that region. In contrast, the percentage of FH stations with icing protection was 63.5% for the southern New England states. The usage of guyed versus non-guyed towers was a poor indicator of icing costs. However, the factors of increasing mast height and mast top elevation are significant to increasing costs. The data show that stations with mast heights greater than 275m (900 ft) and top elevations exceeding 760 m (2500 ft) above mean sea level are at risk and need icing protection. Ocean proximity seemed to have a moderating influence on icing; average costs were $341 for FM stations within 5 km of the coast, versus $472 per year for all FM stations with icing protection. Annual icing costs for all AM stations averaged $121 compared to $75 for coastal AM stations. Current methods of icing protection and their efficiency are discussed herein.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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