Ashgabat Tele-Radio Center ( Tv Tower) (Production/Post Production/Broadcasting) by Polimeks Construction
2012 - 2013, Golden A' Engineering and Technical Design Award Winner
Ashgabat TV Tower project was tendered out. We were the ones who proposed the most desirable solution. Knowing that TV Tower is some 20 km's apart from the city, we wanted to create an atmosphere where people could happily work, rest, dine and most important of all create.
Ashgabat TV Tower is a concept design for TV and Radio program production, post production and broadcasting. The design task Included system architecture, detailed technical designs, system integration, and commissioning, training and turn-key delivery. Technical systems of TV Tower is designed for Turkmenistan Radio & TV Broadcasting Ministry within a budget of $198 M excluding cost of building which was $139 M. The project was implemented within 8 months. The total area of the Tower is 80.000 m² including 52.000 m² of covered areas. The 211 m Tower is constructed 1000 m above the sea level with an advanced antenna of 40 meters height, weighting 45 tons. TV facilities includes 13 TV production studios, 13 Program control rooms, 50 Video Post Production suits, 7 Play out's, 2 continuity areas, one transmission area, dish farm/SAT receiving & ingest area, tape library system for 300K cassettes, 4 local CAR's, one main CAR with full back-up, 12 Video Graphics Design Studios, two virtual studios, 3 OB Vans, a radio link van and a SVU all terrain uplink vehicle. Radio facilities include 12 recording/dubbing studios, 50 Pro-Tools editing stations, 7 play out rooms, a master control room and a CAR. The general system has two High Tech Dynamics UPS's 1600 k VA’s each to provide the technical power. The TV & Radio Tower transmitting system consists of FM, VHF, UHF, DAB 2, DVB-T antennae and 30 transmitters. The project involved more than 40 equipment manufacturers and was mentioned to be the largest TV project of the last 30 years, by world-reknown vendors such as HARRIS, SONY, AVID, VINTEN, RIEDEL and DESISTI etc. Realizing this project we have mobilized and received some 300 lorries, 7 cargo planes and 2 Antonov flights load of equipment. The workflow of the TV Tower project is designed to provide tapeless environment for 7 television and 6 radio channels initially. Actual capacity will allow for 60 DVB programs and some 100 DAB2 program. For acquisition there are 10 ingest stations. There is a Satellite Downlink Recording Suit, which downlinks 20 TVRO's and ingests program material on a dedicated server for sharing content among the facilities. Main CAR having 286 fully loaded equipment racks, is interconnected to 3 local CAR's designated for each floor of operation, having 25 fully loaded racks each. All interconnected by fiber lines. As we speak TV Tower now looks above Ashgabat and realized by many authorities around the world as one of the jewels of broadcasting industry.
Design Challenges
Main challenges the technical design team faced were, centralization of radio and television production, post production and broadcasting activities in one building. Organizing efficient traffics for technical and production staff, spectators and talents and sets and props. So that requirements for such huge traffic won’t affect each other. Creating an atmosphere where people could happily work, rest, dine and create was one of the priorities. Apart from physical traffic, there was the need for routing and terminating an enormous number of signals generated, from the studios, from the editing suites or from archive or satellites (dish farm). System architects catered for such demanding requirements by designing a fact-totum system architecture. Which constitutes an unique solution. (please see the “block diagram” in the Power Point Presentation)
Production Technology
To design a TV Radio studio complex, we had to consider 1. Traffic. Traffic of production staff; traffic of talents; traffic of sets and props; traffic of spectators 2. Sound insulation. Insulation from outside noise; insulation from adjacent studios; insulation from building's foundation and acoustical treatment of each separate area were the main tasks. Floating floors and room-in-room technology were used. TV studios were leveled using self-leveling floor materials. 350 m second reflection time was obtained in the TV studios, by acoustical treatment. 3. Air conditioning. Cater for different requirements of studios, technical areas, library, offices and public areas. Each studio had to have a separate air handling unit assigned in a separate and insulated room to prevent sound leakage between studios and areas. On the other hand air handling units and ducting needed to be extremely silent and acoustically treated. 4. Power. Having the responsibility of creating the most important technical complex of a country, we designed electrical supply to the tower from two independent connections from the national power grid. Moreover we employed six step down transformers and three generator plants. Power supply to the technical areas was conditioned and regulated by two High Tech dynamic uninterrupted power supply plants. Total power requirement for the Tower was 9 Mega Watts. 5. Earthing. Most important challenge we had was to design and implement was the technical earth. Tower was placed in a surrounding where the ground was just sand and rocks. Therefore we had to design the earthing system accordingly. First we designed a star system considering as if we were in a huge ship. Then we treated the ground with chemicals and connected our goose leg earth electrodes. This way we achieved very acceptable earth potentials. 6. As for the equipment used during the production of the Tower, among the huge equipment park we had, we hired the largest crane of the region to erect the 40 meter high 45 Tons antenna on top of 170 meter high concrete tower. The crane itself was transported by seventy 40ft lorries.
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