Profitable Technical Management of Your Building's Telecommunications Systems

Sept. 17, 2001
Optimizing Your Buildings Roof Top

Space efficiency is a primary objective in the design and installation of telecommunication equipment on a rooftop. To optimize rooftop space, proper attention must be paid to the many technical issues that confront a telecommunication site. Because the placement of antennas plays an integral part in successful optimization of rooftop space, antenna placement should be done in a manner that will both optimize growth potential and minimize any possible physical and electromagnetic interference. Effective technical analysis and planning of antenna installations are necessary to successfully reap the greatest return from your rooftop site.

Most telecommunication antennas require an unobstructed physical location to obtain full operational coverage for transmitting and receiving functions. Any physical blockage will degrade the performance of the system. Electromagnetic interference is a problem encountered in the telecommunication industry that presents itself in many forms. Prior to the installation of rooftop antennas, RF interference analysis and testing should be performed by an experienced engineering firm to ensure that the environmental conditions allow normal operation of a proposed new system. Analysis and testing also ensures that a new system will not interfere or degrade any existing systems at the site. Interference can impair a telecommunication system to the point where it will not function properly, thus careful due-diligence must be taken to detect potential problems before installation and operation. Key considerations in performing interference analysis should include obstructions such as buildings or trees that could potentially block a signal, and interference to and from both inter- and intra-site telecommunication systems. These issues will play a critical role in determining the placement of antennas on a rooftop.

Other interference issues that must be considered and analyzed before installation are harmonic emissions, intermodulation product generation and spurious emissions as well as non-standard sources of interference such as microwave ovens, intrusion alarms, computers, and ignition systems. With proper planning and analysis, these potential detriments to normal telecommunication system operations can be successfully managed and mitigated to allow for compatible installation and operation.

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