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Test Antennas Top 1 WTC

Radio Frequency Systems supplied UHF, VHF trial arrays

This week the Durst Organization is installing two TV antennas atop One World Trade Center in New York City so engineers can proof the site as a suitable location for transmission infrastructure.

The goal of Durst, a real estate development firm that controls One World Trade Center in a partnership with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is to establish 1 WTC as a premier transmission site in the city for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting.

Radio Frequency Systems, a Connecticut-based broadcast antenna manufacturer, supplied the UHF and VHF trial arrays. Once installed and functioning, RFS will collect data to demonstrate how the 1 WTC transmission system performs, according to an RFS press release. TV broadcasters will be performing the measurements in the field. Antenna testing could begin by the end of this month.

The FCC has assigned several TV frequencies — Channel 12 for VHF and Channel 32 for UHF — for the testing, which will be monitored by the Metropolitan Television Alliance.

Durst officials believe the VHF testing will be a close approximation to how FM transmissions would cover the city. There is no plan at present for a specific FM transmission test.

The skyscraper, which stretches to 1,776 feet, has the potential to lure New York City broadcasters from their current main rooftop transmission facilities, Durst believes; the majority are at the Empire State Building. Durst also operates a rooftop RF facility at 4 Times Square.

Empire has been touting its own tower reconfiguration plan, pending the approval of broadcast tenants already in place there. That building stands 1,254 feet tall, plus it has a 200-foot steel broadcast tower.

Lower Manhattan was home to TV and some radio transmission facilities atop World Trade Center’s north tower prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.