Structural Analysis of Radar Tower at Malaga Airport, Spain

This project deals with structural evaluation against climatic loads and the utilization and seismic analysis of an existing telecommunications tower performed by SAQQARA INGENIERIA S.L., a customer of Dlubal Software. The structure is a lattice tower with a square section plan, made of steel cross-sections, with a radar and the necessary auxiliary equipment installed on it, including a spherical radome as a mimicry.

The calculations included the ultimate and serviceability limit state designs, as well as the stability analysis of cross-sections, joints, and foundation of the tower, including the equipment installed on it. The facility is located in the municipality of Malaga, in an area close to the most dangerous seismic area in the Spanish southeast. The analysis was carried out according to the Eurocodes and the Spanish standard NCSE‑02 with a map updated by IGM, using the main program RFEM together with the add-on modules for towers, steel design, and dynamic analysis.

Structure Definition

The lattice tower has a height of 30 m (98.5 ft) and ground plan dimensions of 4.1 m × 4.1 m (13.5 ft × 13.5 ft). The equipment is placed using the supports corresponding to the tower sides. Furthermore, the tower has two platforms. One of them is located 26 m (85 ft) from the ground and the other is at a maximum elevation of 30 m (98.5 ft), where the new radome and radar equipment will be installed. A visual inspection was performed and geometric and photographic data were taken, as well as the extraction of samples necessary to make decisions on the material properties to be used in the analysis with sufficient safety according to the valid regulations. The tower platforms and equipment can be accessed from the interior of the tower using a stairway.

Results and Conclusion

It was certified for service based on the operational requirements of the maximum displacement and rotation of the structure at the radar positioning height. The strength capacity of the tower legs and faces against resistance, stability, and failure of the fasteners was certified favorably. It was proven that the existing foundation is sufficient to support the new equipment. By using the TOWER add-on module, which includes the additions of EC3 3‑1 and EC1 for these types of structures, it was possible to certify the structure more quickly and reliably.

Location Malaga Airport – Costa del Sol,
Malaga, Spain
Customer ENAIRE
Structural and Foundation Analysis SAQQARA INGENIERIA S.L. 
Tel: (+34) 946 035 087 
[email protected]

Project Specifications

Model data

Number of Nodes 547
Number of Lines 949
Number of Members 874
Number of Surfaces 36
Number of Load Cases 4
Number of Load Combinations 18
Number of Result Combinations 2
Total Weight 47.193 tons
Dimensions 26.74 x 29.99 x 115.87 feet
Program Version 5.34.01

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