When a structure is measured for an official height, it includes every part of the structure - including
the antenna(s) and support mast(s) that is(are) almost always included at the very top. Take the current
height record holder, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, for instance. The overall height of the structure
including the antenna is 828 meters; however, the antenna is 207 meters tall, so the building itself
is only 621 meters. As can be seen from the chart below, only two pure antennas (including support mast)
are included in the world's tallest structures. Antennas are used for television, radio, data, and even
If you read
Arthur C. Clarke's article in the October 1954 edition of Wireless World where he
conceived of a geosynchronous satellite system to broadcast television signals rather than using a series
of terrestrial towers, it is apparent why even using antennas at heights like the one on the Burj Khalifa
would not even come close to providing coverage needed for the entire earth. The following table gives
the line-of-sight*, including earth curvature, range for each antenna (assuming maximum specified height).
With an earth circumference of 40,000 km, you would need nearly 700 towers just to provide continuous
coverage along the equator. A few thousand would be required for global coverage. The logistics for
construction, maintenance, and operation of such a network would be daunting... if not impossible. Imagine
the aerial navigation that such an array would pose!
** "...we wanted to create a 'female' tower being complex,
transparent, curvy and gracious."
Graph of World's Tallest Structures - Including Antennas
Well, this started out being about pictures of high antennas (i.e., Cool Pic), but it kind of evolved
into a little more.
These images have been chosen for their uniqueness. Subject matter ranges from historic events, to really cool phenomena in science and engineering,
to relevant place, to ingenious contraptions, to interesting products (which now has its own dedicated
Featured Product category).
Cool Pic Archive Pages
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Posted July 11, 2011