Numerical and experimental study of unsteady wind loads on panels of a radar aerial

  • Received : 2015.07.04
  • Accepted : 2016.05.15
  • Published : 2016.07.25


This work experimentally and numerically analyzes the flow configurations and the dynamic wind loads on panels of rectangular L/h 5:1 cross section mounted on a structural frame of rectangular bars of L/h 0.5:1, corresponding to a radar structure. The fluid dynamic interaction between panels and frame wakes imposes dynamic loads on the panels, with particular frequencies and Strouhal numbers, different from those of isolated elements. The numerical scheme is validated by comparison with mean forces and velocity spectra of a panel wake obtained by wind tunnel tests. The flow configuration is analyzed through images of the numerical simulations. For a large number of panels, as in the radar array, their wakes couple in either phase or counter-phase configurations, changing the resultant forces on each panel. Instantaneous normal and tangential force coefficients are reported; their spectra show two distinct peaks, caused by the interaction of the wakes. Finally, a scaled model of a rectangular structure comprised of panels and frame elements is tested in the boundary layer wind tunnel in order to determine the influence of the velocity variation with height and the three-dimensionality of the bulk flow around the structure. Results show that the unsteady aerodynamic loads, being strongly influenced by the vortex shedding of the supporting elements and by the global 3-D geometry of the array, differ considerably on a panel in this array from loads acting on an isolated panel, not only in magnitude, but also in frequency.


wake interaction;dynamic loads;Strouhal number


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