The much talked about aerostat or helium balloon that will be used for the grand opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
Touted as the first of its kind to be used for a sporting ceremony or entertainment event, the aerostat can be used for projection in 360 degrees, enabling every person in the stadium to view the entire effect of the aerostat.
Raised to 10 metres above the base at its unveiling on Wednesday evening, the aerostat will be raised to its maximum height of 30 metres over the next two days. The Rs.40-crore balloon is 80 m by 40 m and 12 m high.
Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said the aerostat was “no ordinary balloon…but a piece of art” and could function even in the presence of rain. “Even during rains, it stands tall with no problems at all,” he added.
The aerostat will be multi-purpose and will have video content projected on it, which will include animation and graphics and will be synchronised with the events during the opening ceremony. The projection will be of high-resolution and multi-dimensional. Some live events will also be projected on the aerostat to highlight scenic elements and create dramatic effects.
Light fixtures with mirrors will be fixed on the balloon to emit a glow.
Speaking on the occasion, Competition Manager for Athletics C. K. Valson said the athletics track at the stadium has received Class 1 certification, making it the first in India to obtain it and among the few in Asia.