Local visualization firm helps simulate proposed wind farm
A Canadian renewable power company has engaged Falls Church VA firm, Digital Design & Imaging Service Inc. to conduct visual impact simulations for a major wind generation facility in the Appalachian mountains. The 26 proposed 656 ft tall wind turbines will be one of the tallest and most efficient in the country. DDIS was tasked to fly 4 of their specialized aerostat balloons atop a 1700ft tall forested mountain top to 656′ feet. The balloons helped the engineers and the nearby communities understand the general height and width of the proposed 26 turbines. “Besides the balloon tests for Manhattan’s One World Trade Center, this is the most challenging tethered aerostat project my firm has ever done” said DDIS president/landscape architect Curt Westergard. It was difficult to safely reach the top of the steep mountain with 15 large tanks of helium, 4 winch carts, balloons, rigging, and our 9-Eye camera payload.
To symbolize the tips of the proposed wind turbines blades, the DDIS team used four 12.5ft-diameter, tethered balloons. Markers on the aerostat’s tether were placed to symbolize the turbine’s hub. Project manager and lead image analyst, Ryan Shuler, built and composited 3D computer models of the wind turbines with photogrammetric data and photos of the balloons from surrounding communities.