WARR Hyperloop is a team of around 30 students from Germany’s Technical University of Munich. Their 2nd version of their custom Hyperloop Pod reached a peak speeds of 324 km/h in SpaceX’s 1.2km pressurised test tube. On the team’s own website, they believe the theoretical maximum for their design is 360 km/h, so to come that close is a major achievement, as is beating all other teams.
The carbon fibre and aluminum body houses a 50 kW motor providing 40 Nm of torque, accelerating the pod from 0 to top speed in just 12 seconds, creating around 1.0G. Slowing down the pod is equally important and to achieve that, they rely on 4 pneumatic friction brakes that are capable of a mega 2.4 g deceleration, thankfully this is a scale test, so no humans on-board to worry about (for now). The pod is powered by a 132-cell, lithium-polymer battery system provides all the on-board power.
WARR Hyperloop Pod II ran 38 sensors to constantly assess the state of the pod, during the run, measuring everything from battery voltage to braking pressure. 3 independent microcontrollers on custom printed circuit boards share the work of pod control, while a common CAN Bus connecting the three microcontrollers provides a robust and industry-proven communication protocol (used in your car).
We’ll get to the run itself in a second, but before you see the final product, take a second to watch the ‘making of’ video which showcases the amazing engineering work that goes in behind the scenes to make this accomplishment a reality.
Founder of SpaceX and creator of the Hyperloop idea, Elon Musk was in attendance today to watch the action, later turning to Twitter to congratulation the fastest team.
WARR Hyperloop captured and published today’s even on their Facebook page, complete with their reaction as the sensors fed back the critical top-speed data to laptops near the pod loading point. The team reveal they were actually given 2 runs in the tube (time is limited), so they decided to go for the speed record, pushing for 100% on the first run, with a 25% power deployment on the second if the first failed. Spoiler: they didn’t need the 2nd run – first time’s a charm.
Thanks to a camera mounted on the front of the pod, we get to experience the acceleration inside the test tube. The lights in the test tube are placed at set distances and repeated for the length of the track, this produces flashing lights as the pod races through the tube at speed.
What is clear from this video, is that Hyperloop’s that transport humans in the future will definitely have to block out any vision of interior lights in the tube, so if you’re a display manufacturer (especially curved) then expect a call in the future. Now watch the Hyperloop run from on-board (disclaimer, if flashing lights don’t agree with you, skip this).
This really was an amazing effort from the team and amazing to watch their reactions (around the 39.40 minute mark). This completes SpaceX’s official agenda for the competition in 2017, from here, its a little unclear what happens. There’s a number of private companies actually building tracks and Elon Musk’s new boring company is also digging underground tunnels.