Hyperloop Pod Competition 2018
COEP Hyperloop, a group of enthusiasts working on Hyperloop technology with an aim to bring about the next transportation revolution. A Hyperloop comprises of a sealed tube in which partial vacuum is maintained through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people at high speeds.
On August 12, 2013, Elon Musk released a white paper on the Hyperloop, his concept of high-speed ground transport which hypothesised speeds of upto 760mph (1200km/h). In order to accelerate the development of a functional prototype and to encourage student innovation, SpaceX announced a Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015 to design and build a Hyperloop pod. In 2015-16 1000+ teams participated in which 115 teams made it to the 2nd phase and 30 teams made it to the 3rd phase of the competition.
All of us came together to contribute to this idea which was open-sourced by SpaceX and subsequently we also participated in the Hyperloop Pod Competition 2018. We submitted our Preliminary Design Brief to SpaceX and we were one of the few teams worldwide who qualified for the second phase of the competition.
‘Bhaskara’, meaning ‘The Sun’ in Sanskrit which symbolises ‘The source of all life energy’, is what we have chosen as the name of our pod. Our pod will have a shell made up of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer(CFRP) and will be designed for minimising drag that would be experienced at higher speeds.
The pod will be propelled by a two-stage propulsion system. Initially, an electric motor will drive the friction drive until levitation. Once the pod will levitate, gas thrusters will propel the pod up to a maximum speed of 114m/s. The levitation will be affected by a passive system made up of Halbach arrays of Permanent magnets placed on skies on both sides of the pod. The pod will be allowed to accelerate till it travels 938 metres, after which the braking will be initiated.
Eddy current braking and friction braking will work together to bring the pod to rest. The stability of the pod will be maintained using a combination of Halbach arrays and lateral wheels in contact with the rail. All the physical parameters will be monitored using various sensors. An onboard computer will take necessary decisions using the input from sensors.
I am one of the founding members of Team COEP Hyperloop and worked as the technical lead of a 30-member team. During the course of my work, I focused on the conceptual design of a propulsion system and magnetic levitation system for the Hyperloop pod. And also the mechatronic system integration of each subsystem.
Skills Used Solidworks, MATLAB, ANSYS, Arduino, Electronics, Electro-Magnetism, Fabrication Techniques etc.