CMU Hyperloop 2017
What is the Hyperloop?
The Hyperloop refers to an experimental new form of ultra-high speed ground transportation connected by a network of semi-vacuum tubes that could span hundreds of miles. With extremely low air pressure inside the tubes and reduced friction caused by electromagnetic levitation, pods filled with people could zip by just overhead at near supersonic speeds.
In June 2015, SpaceX launched an international competition with the aim of accelerating the development of a functional Hyperloop pod. Their focus was on feasibility and scalability. Out of about 1,300 original applicants, Carnegie Mellon Hyperloop, an interdisciplinary team of more than 50 Engineers, Designers and Business students, placed 8th in the final competition.
But that was only the beginning...
On August 31, 2016, five months before the first competition even took place, SpaceX announced a second competition that would focus on maximum velocity and require a completely new design. Having worked side by side with the original team, helping them assemble the first pod and reviewing the subsystem designs and magnetic configurations in detail, we were confident about our next steps. And sure enough, shortly after submitting our Competition II design proposal, we heard back from SpaceX: we’d be moving to the next round.
On February 28th, we’ll submit our final design briefing covering every aspect of the pod as well as technical validation of our assumptions. The goals of these submissions are for entrants to present their designs for the entire Hyperloop system to receive feedback, vetting and approval to proceed. From April on, we will model, test, and eventually build our new pod in preparation for the next Competition Weekend, which is set to be held in summer 2017.
While most of the original Hyperloop team has graduated, their legacy lives on. CMU Hyperloop is now an official student club and the only club on campus that has cross college engagement from CMU’s College of Engineering, Tepper School of Business, Integrated Innovation Institute, and School of Drama. The team is new, but one thing has remained the same: we’re motivated. We’re committed to our classes, the late night builds, the heated discussions, breaking through the roadblocks, and, more than anything, we’re committed to making this dream a reality (again).
There are an endless number of reasons why the team is so driven and excited about the Hyperloop, but our real motivation comes from a vision that extends beyond the club and the competitions. We feel we're contributing to something that can bring people together, no matter the distance. Whether we're separated by physical distance, exorbitant costs, or simply limited time, Hyperloop has the potential to bring long distance travel to all.
Please read our bios above to learn more about us!
How We’ll Spend the Money
Our preliminary design submitted in November 2016 was accepted to the next round, and we’re now at the stage to begin hardware prototyping at a sub-system level. To this end, we're looking to raise $10,000.
For the first competition, the founding team had to deal with questions that even industry experts had trouble answering, but to quote Sir Isaac Newton, this round “we’re standing on the shoulders of giants”. CMU Hyperloop already has a solid understanding of effective and ineffective designs and we’re working hard to build an even lighter, faster, and stronger pod than ever before. We still plan to use electromagnets, but we have a few surprises up our sleeves that we can’t wait to test out.
We’ve been running a number of digital and analytical tests to validate the force required to levitate, stabilize, protect, and slow the pod, but there are limits to what software can do and soon we’ll need to put our prototypes to the physical test. Your donations will be critical to help us test and validate our design proposals.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read through our project! Please take a moment to support our team by donating at whatever level you feel is appropriate. As a student team, we’re also looking for:
- Corporate Sponsorship
- A team of Advisors
- Relationships with material suppliers (eg. Carbon Fiber, Electromagnets, Nuts, Bolts & Screw)
For more information or to get involved, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.