Precision at 2,000 Metres above Sea Level

It's been 45 years since a transmission tower was built on the Kitzbüheler Horn, one of the most important mountains in the Kitzbühel Alps in Tyrol, Austria. The transmitter supplies the Kitzbühel area with TV and radio programmes. Over the years, the ravages of time have left their trace on the transmitter, so much, that now the cylinder and antenna have had to be exchanged. The Austrian broadcasting company (ORS), a subsidiary company of ORF, relied upon Kathrein’s tried and tested expertise.

Work started for the ORS contract started for project managers Thomas Stolba (electronics) and Johann Seebacher (mechanics) about nine months prior to assembly of the new antenna. It began with the exact planning of the project work, as several companies were involved. During the preparations, Stolba and Seebacher visited the 2,000 metre transmission tower several times in order to take measurements. This was not easy task in the winter, as snow was blocking the narrow road to the summit. Stolba had to take the cable car and trudge the last 50 metres through the snow carrying kilos of heavy test and measuring equipment.

On July 18th, the time had finally arrived: Shortly after sunrise, some 20 experts gathered to mount the new transmitter on the peak of the Kitzbüheler Horn. Invited were also high ranking professionals from ORS, ORF and Kathrein. “We started early, as the cable car hadn’t started running yet and there were few people about” said Stolba. IIn the early hours of the morning the increasing air density allows the helicopter to lift more weight. In order to carry all necessary material, the Russian special helicopter took three separate flights. The previously used three-ton cylinder was uninstalled on the first go, on the second round the pilots transported an adapter to the top of the mast, which was later precisely levelled out under the supervision of Johann Seebacher. The third flight was to install the new cylinder which weighed approx. 2.5 tons. “It all went smoothly, we were lucky with the weather”, Stolba summarised the successful installation. Shortly after eight in the morning, the assembly of the new antenna had been completed right according to schedule. “Our client was very pleased with the way we worked through the tight schedule for the complex exchange.” Two days later, after further installation work and final measurements, the antenna started broadcasting.

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