Structural Simulation Delivers Modular Wi-Fi Towers Quickly

Wi-Fi access today seems more like a right than a privilege. But easy access to Wi-Fi is not widespread in many countries, especially in out-of-the-way rural areas where structural design and building of Wi-Fi towers can be challenging. In the interior of Brazil, only 22 percent of the people have Wi-Fi due to the costs of installing towers and the economics of providing service to sparsely populated areas. But startup Jet Towers is trying to remedy this situation using ANSYS AIM for structural simulation to design prefabricated, modular truss towers that can be installed and running within a week of purchase, instead of the normal five weeks for custom designed Wi-Fi towers.

Simulation helps design Wi-Fi towers

The idea is simple: instead of re-inventing the tower for every order and then cutting the steel, shipping the individual pieces and bolting and welding the tower onsite, Jet Towers decided to build a series of triangular truss modules that they could keep in stock for design and shipment. The triangular modules are tapered so that the top of each unit is smaller than its base. The sizes of the various modules are designed so that they can be stacked from a wide base to a tapering peak of the desired height for any customer.

Using a spreadsheet-based system, the Jet Towers customer service personnel, with no engineering knowledge, can determine the necessary components and quickly provide a quote to a customer based on the desired height of the tower. Because the modules are in stock, the order can be gathered and shipped to the assembly site immediately.
Jet Towers’ lone engineer used structural simulations to ensure that the towers had sufficient strength to bear the weight of the Wi-Fi antennas that send and receive the signals. But the simulation did not stop there. He also used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to make sure any tower could withstand the wind forces that the tower and its antennas might encounter.

Working in the ANSYS AIM integrated simulation environment made these simulations easy to perform. With ANSYS AIM, every engineer can perform high-fidelity, up-front design simulations without compromising on speed, robustness or accuracy. It combines an easy-to-use, intuitive simulation environment with proven solver technology that customers depend on around the world. Try ANSYS AIM now, with nothing to download, no forms to fill out and no waiting.

The company built 35 towers in its first eight months in business. The combination of easy design, fast shipment and rapid assembly is helping it to beat its competitors in this growing market. And many more Brazilians are enjoying the pleasures of Wi-Fi connectivity.

To learn more about the Jet Towers success story, read the article in the latest issue of ANSYS Advantage magazine.

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About John Graham

John is an experienced application/mechanical engineer with specialties in sales, marketing, design, 3D modeling, and product development. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been in various roles with ANSYS for over 7 years. Prior to his current role he worked as a design engineer on a variety of products such as electric motors, linear motion guides, and fiber optic transceiver modules. John’s passions include content marketing, technical teaching/training, project/product management, programming, and video production work.