Last few days the news about India being a potential target for hyperloop market has excited all of us. Finally, if everything goes well, travelling might become faster, safer and much more comfortable. India has been seeing a lot of advances and development in the science and engineering sector lately, and addition of hyperloop communication, travelling in the country will surely be revolutionized. But most of us aren’t familiar with the basic principles behind the working of a hyperloop, or the events leading to this deal between the company and India. So, here is what I could find out about this deal and initiative, what follows is a really revolutionizing idea.
The company called Hyperloop-1 is the result of Elon Musk’s vision. Elon Musk is a very well-known name now, from owning companies ike SpaceX, Tesla, and Hyperloop-1 itself, he has been bringing the change he wants to see, instead of just sitting back and complaining. This company’s journey began in 2012 when Elon Musk first proposed the idea of a ‘ hyperloop’, a form of communication that would be twice as faster than the airplanes, energy-efficient, clean, and a lot safer. The name hyperloop signifies the hypersonic speeds that will be reached and the fact that it will basically be a network of loops spread between cities. The company began in 2014, and now has three workspaces in Los Angeles and Nevada, US.
Terming the Hyperloop technolgy “very exciting”,Suresh Prabhu said “Think of travelling to Mumbai-Delhi in just 60 minutes and Mumbai to Chennai in 30 minutes. We will closely watch it and how it is happening.”
So how did India come in the scenario? Well it all began as a global competition to make a list of countries that could serve as potential markets for the project, and in a list of 35 cities released earlier in 2016, 5 cities from India made to the list, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. In a recent event, called “Vision For India”, the company proposed its idea to build high-speed transportation network system to five states, and is planning to raise around $100 million for the same. This meeting was also attended by the rail-minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, who was really amazed by the idea, and said that he looked forward to work as a catalyst in the project that would help build a better India. India is already having talks for a bullet train network with Japan, which is to begin by 2018. It has also been decided that most of the components will be built in India itself, thus also helping the local industries like steel to develop, thus adding to the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
“India turns out to be massive opportunity, we are committed to building a new mode of transportation that is point-to-point and sustainable. We want to build a production system in India. We want to make in India.”
-Rob Llyod, CEO, Hyperloop One
Idea for hyperloop-like communication isn’t a new thing, but hasn’t been worked towards due to engineering difficulties. This was until Elon Musk tried his hand at it. Along with a team of 200 specialists, he has finally achieved remarkable success in the project. The prototype was tried out successfully in 2016, and a working route is to be tested hopefully by the end of this year in Nevada. Now there are two challenges to building a hyperloop : 1) Lift and 2) Stability. The team used the process of magnetic levitation, that is the magnetic attractive and repelling forces of strong permanent magnets/ electromagnets/ superconductors to achieve the required lift. The problem of stability is a difficult one to tackle. According to Earnshaw’s Theorem, there can be no static system of charges that is in equilibrium under electromagnetic forces. The team used an error-feedback network, to change the strength of magnetic fields and their direction as required in real-time based on speed and position of the pod, i.e the vehicle. The company has also made custom linear induction motors which will accelerate and decelerate the pod based on the part of the route the pod is in, helping it turn. The track for this hyperloop will be a system of closed near vacuum tunnels. The almost vacuum surrounding reduces friction to a great extend and a small stream of air provides necessary padding to the pod.
The pod itself will be an engineering masterpiece. It will be divided in three chambers, the front will have air chambers for maintaining the pressure, the middle chamber will be were the passengers will sit and the last compartment will house the battery. The pod’s highly aerodynamic structure, and air skies in its bottom will help it glide swiftly without any noise through the loop which lifted in a cushion of air. Air thrusters in the front will divert the high pressurized air formed towards the rear and bottom to generate more lift and reduce traction.
Elon Musk is truly a gift to the society. With the recent achievements of the Space Exploration Company SpaceX which carried NASA’s 5500 ton cargo on the space craft Dragon to ISS on its Falcon9 rocket, the company is also planning to send two private citizens on a trip around Moon. The automobile company Tesla has been making strides in the field of green-cars and self-driving technology. Hyperloop-1 will surely match its expectations and will be at par with these cousin companies. Travelling from Mumbai to Delhi will take just 80 minutes when cruising at a high-speed of 760mph(miles per hour) inside the hyperloop. The pocket pinch? Once the company is settled properly in market, tickets will cost just as much or a bit higher than bus fares! So let us all thank Elon Musk, and hope the deal between the company and India goes smoothly. Happy Reading!
-The Cosmogasmic Person
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