SpaceX founder Elon Musk launched the “Hyperloop Pod Competition” in 2015. The Hyperloop is the concept of a transport system in which a high speed train is to travel at near the speed of sound in a partial vacuum tube. Student teams from around the world are invited to submit their concepts for the so-called pod – the cabin capsule in which passengers are to be transported through the tube.
In the first competition, which took place in January 2017, two main prizes were awarded: a main prize for the fastest pod, won by the WARR Hyperloop team of the Technical University of Munich, and a grand prize for the best overall concept, which went to the TU Delft. In the second competition, only the speed was important. Here, too, the students drove off their competitors: they reached 324 km / h.
Three Teams Were Able to Qualify for the Final
In the third competition, it was again about the speed, but only prototypes were allowed, which had its own drive. Eighteen teams were invited to Los Angeles‘ third contest to test their capsule in the purpose-built tube on SpaceX.
Only three teams made it to the finals after the rigorous technical preliminary tests. In addition to the WARR Hyperloop team of the TU Munich, these were Delft Hyperloop (TU Delft) and EPFLoop (ETH Lausanne). The ETH Zurich team could not qualify for the final in the preliminary round. At 467 kilometers per hour, the students of the Technical University of Munich were able to increase their speed by almost 50 percent compared to the second competition. The Delft Hyperloop capsule reached 142 km / h in the vacuum tube, EPFLoop reached 85 km / h.
Self-Developed Levitation System
As a trophy, the students received a 3D model of the tube with a pod, which was personally signed by Elon Musk. The WARR Hyperloop team was also honored with an Innovation Award. They received this for their design of the fast pod as well as for their second pod, with which they demonstrated a self-developed floating system the day before the main competition.
The TUM Supports the WARR Hyperloop Team
The TUM supported the students financially in the development of the prototypes. The WARR Hyperloop team was also able to use the high-tech workshop MakerSpace of UnternehmerTUM, the center for innovation and founding, to build the prototype.
The Bavarian state government is also promoting the mobility concept. Prime Minister Markus Söder had announced in his policy statement to build a Bavarian test track for the Hyperloop.
TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann on the success of his team: “What some – even technicians – dismiss as spinning can become reality in the not too distant future. Plus, it’s the youthful fascination with the toughest challenges we need to promote. Only then will we strengthen the global trademark ‘German Engineering‘. ”
Source : Technical University of Munich (TUM)