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Failure Analysis of the WWVB Tower
J. D. McColskey (au); C. N. McCowan (au); R. L. Santoyo (au)
A failure analysis was conducted on the collapse of the NIST WWVB tower, which occurred on Feb. 27, 2001. The WWVB tower continuously broadcasts time and frequency signals throughout N. Amer. These signals automatically synchronize electronic products and are also used for high-level applications such as network-time synchronization and frequency calibrations. The underlying reason for the collapse was fatigue failure due to poor engineering design and improper specifications on the insulator pin. Based on the findings, NIST recommends that new pins be fabricated using recommended engineering practices with particular attention paid to details such as tolerances, radii, material choice, and heat treatment procedures. Illustrations.
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