Jaldost, the airboat for flood rescue, weeding

Jaldost is an airboat which uses air propulsion and thrust vectoring technology for navigation in shallow waters. (DH Photo)

On Sunday, the National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL) launched Jaldost at the Halasuru Lake in central Bengaluru, which can be used for flood relief as well as for weeding in waterbodies.

Jaldost is an airboat which uses air propulsion and thrust vectoring technology for navigation in shallow waters.

The boat was launched as part of NAL’s diamond jubilee celebrations. Speaking at the launch, Jitendra Jadhav, director of NAL, said the improvised airboat can clear weeds in a 15 sq m area in a span of 10 minutes.

“The airboat is constructed using technology used in low-cost aircraft. The propulsion system is above the water,” he said.

Since there are no moving parts below the water surface, there is no risk of entanglement with objects under water which are not easily identifiable. This makes Jaldost ideal for life-saving and rescue during floods, he said. According to NAL, Jaldost could be fitted with an add-on attachment for weeding.

The system uses hydraulic power from the engine to cut weeds and are fitted with equipment to scoop them up. A stainless steel cutter is installed with a width of eight feet on the leading edge of the collection scoop.

The airboat had an operational empty weight of 650 kg and floated even in water a few inches deep. 

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