A new Hyperloop record speed of 324 km/h or 201 mph was made by a group of students at the Technical University of Munich and its Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Space Flight (WARR). The record speed was exhibited during the Elon Musk-led Hyperloop Pod Competition that took place beside the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California last weekend.
Congratulations to WARR team from Tech Univ Munich for winning 2nd @Hyperloop competition! Peak speed of 324 km/h, which is over 200 mph!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2017
The near vacuum test tube stretches for 1.25 km, which was specifically designed and built for the Hyperloop Pod Competition. After the tube was depressurized to reduce air resistance, the WARR Hyperloop team kicked off their record-breaking launch sequence that was immediately followed by the preprogrammed control sequence they designed. The pod maintained its acceleration throughout the tube's remaining three-quarters length until it reached its top speed of 324 km/h. A controlled braking sequence was then executed resulting in an almost instantaneous stop just after around 3 seconds of application.
"The fastest pod wins"
In this year's second round of SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, Elon Musk imposed a simple and clear competition criterium: the fastest pod wins. The WARR Hyperloop team fulfilled this criterium with flying colors by designing their own propulsion system. Unlike the other teams who relied on the SpaceX accelerator vehicle to gain pod speed. Elon Musk expressed his delight on the team's achievement considering that the students were working on a limited budget.
"That was just done by students on a tiny budget, which was an extremely impressive outcome".
WARR Hyperloop's brand new concept
The WARR Hyperloop's propulsion system consists of a 50 kW motor that provides a torque of 40 Nm. This system causes the pod to accelerate from 0 to 350 km/h in a mere 12 seconds. The pod's drive wheels are clamped to the rail using pneumatic muscles with a force of 1,400 N, which allows for a larger torque to be transferred to the wheel resulting in a higher acceleration.
The almost instantaneous pod stop was achieved through the four pneumatic friction brakes capable of executing a 2.4 g deceleration sequence. WARR Hyperloop also incorporated stabilization modules within the pod to prevent it from swaying in horizontal and vertical directions. Speed vibrations are addressed by using tension springs and dampers, which ultimately results in precise pod-tube alignment. Although the pod is significantly small compared to the recently unveiled Hyperloop pod, its design successfully fulfilled the competition's sole objective of reaching the fastest speed in the 1.2 km SpaceX tube.
Elon Musk mentioned on Twitter that SpaceX is to run its own pod inside the test tube later on this week. The SpaceX CEO said that his space company's pod "should go a little faster". Even though the test tube is relatively short at a length of 0.8 miles, Musk and SpaceX thinks it may be possible for their pod to reach supersonic speeds with extremely high acceleration and deceleration.
Btw, high accel only needed because tube is short. For passenger transport, this can be spread over 20+ miles, so no spilt drinks.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2017