Recent flooding, which occurred in Europe in July 2021 has been recognized as the biggest since 1909. It is being widely attributed to global climate change. Such disasters are expected to happen in the future with increased scale, frequency and intensity. These recent emergences rapidly overwhelmed local police and fire departments and prompted the call for assistance of Armed Forces.
It also shows the necessity to improve, reinforce and update the equipment level of all first responder organizations to deal efficiently with current and future flooding and other type of disasters around the world.
ATASD – ‘Amphibious Transformer with the Air Static Discharge’ is a Canadian-innovated, patented amphibious Search & Rescue vehicle.
Interconn Development Ltd is a Canadian company, located in city of Markham, Province of Ontario (www.airatv.com) and is dedicated to developing high-performance amphibious vehicles. The initial goal was to build a cost-effective, multi-purpose amphibious vehicle for Search & Rescue, first responders and military applications that could successfully operate in areas where conventional watercraft can’t. From the debris-filled streets of a flooded Canadian city to the dangerous wild river of Brazilian Amazonia – the ATASD was designed for all these scenarios and more.
The ATASD transformer vehicle significantly differs from any other known amphibious vehicles – airboats and hovercrafts, etc. – by its elastic tube-bridge chassis made from round aluminium tubes that leans on flexible inflatable urethane skegs. Three inflatable flexible skegs provide perfect shock absorption and makes the ride of the ATASD very comfortable and not traumatically shaky for the pilot and passengers on board, at any speeds and over any surface. These skegs keep the pressure underneath, efficiently replacing the hovercraft skirt and providing unprecedented stability during all modes of operation as well as steady air discharge that works like grease between the skegs and the surface.
The ATASD is designed like a Lego kit as a set of three base independent blocks fastened to each other – lower frame, power-train and cabin. Each of these blocks can be modified and customized without changes to the other blocks. This unique feature provides a wide range of customization choices and could be easily used by operators for different applications. The ATASD can be used with or without cabin, as a passenger boat or as a cargo platform.
The ATASD is an amphibious Search & Rescue amphibious platform intended to work year round in all types of environmental conditions where floating debris and underwater hazards hamper the operation of traditional boats, e.g. in arctic ice waters, the narrow streets of flooded cities or rural areas. Inflatable skegs minimize the possibility of injury to people in the water compared with the aluminium hull of rigid inflatables or the composite hull of boats. Another major advantage for SAR crews is the low freeboard, making it much easier to bring people out of the water.
One automotive turbo engine rotates a variable pitch thrust air propeller (VPDP) and a couple of lifting axial fans. The VPDP provides braking/reversing as well as a perfect distribution of power between the thrust and lifting system depending on operating conditions. The Ford Ecoboost 2.0L (2.3L) engine similar to that used in Ford Focus ST and Ford Mustang cars is fuel efficient and generates low noise levels.
ATASD is intended for rapid response and assistance to evacuate people and their belongings. It can rapidly deliver up to 850kg of essential equipment, life rafts, fresh water, medication, food, sandbags, water pumps and supplies to remote areas. It has a range of up to 240km, with a maximum speed of more than 100kph over water and 140kph over ice and snow. Being fully amphibious, the ATASD enables first responders to respond safely and effectively to incidents on thin ice, marshes and shallow waters.
In an emergency evacuation scenario the ATASD is capable of transporting up to eight people (six rescued and two rescuers), significantly more than traditional rescue watercrafts and helicopters. The ATASD is capable of operating in waves up to 2m and strong wind with gusts up to 90kph, in conditions where other airboats or hovercrafts are useless.
In 75% of cases Search & Rescue ATASD amphibious vehicles are able to replace rescue helicopters, while being 800 times cheaper to operate.
Additional information could be found on ATASD website www.airatv.com