The Propulsion Systems sub-team is responsible for the development, optimisation, validation, and maintenance of the hardware that provides the entirety of the pod’s thrust. It is an integral component of the pod which directly influences competition performance and has a significant effect on overall pod development.
The Levitation Systems sub-team research methods of levitating the pod while in transit to minimise friction. Although the pod design for the 20-21 season did not include a levitation system and will instead operate on wheels, the levitation sub-team is now focused on a demonstration project for European Hyperloop week.
The aim of the project is to develop a test rig which acts as a proof-of-concept for an electrodynamic suspension system, and to ensure that it produces the required lift at the operating speed of the hyperloop pod.
The chassis is a key element of a hyperloop pod as its design dictates the locations of the systems with respect to each other and the hyperloop track rail: an important variable in the performance of many components of the pod. One of the key goals of chassis design is to create a structure that can safely withstand all the forces applied to each system while minimising weight.
The main objective of the Power Systems sub-team is to design and build a system which supplies adequate power to the pod. Safety is a key consideration when designing the pod power system, especially when working with large lithium ion batteries.
Suspension and Stabilisation
The Suspension and Stabilisation system is an integral part of the hyperloop pod design and aims to minimise the effects of turbulence – which can be significant at high speeds – and to keep the levitation skis at a constant height above the track. Part of the judgement criteria for a hyperloop pod is its vibration profile throughout its run, so a good suspension system is vital. The sub-team also works on the development of the passive wheels for the pod.
Body and Aerodynamics
The Body and Aerodynamics sub-team are responsible for the design and manufacture of the shell which encases the pod. This shell must be capable of withstanding any load, be it aerodynamic or structural; ensure optimal aerodynamic performance; and weigh as little as possible to optimise pod performance.
The primary goal of the Braking Systems sub-team is to ensure that there is sufficient reliable braking force to bring the pod to a stop before the end of the test track. With a well-designed braking system, the pod can travel at higher speeds in confidence that it can stop effectively and meet competition requirements. Additionally, the braking system must employ redundancies to operate safely in the event of an emergency.
Navigation and Control Systems
The Navigation and Control sub team is responsible for designing and embedding appropriate control infrastructure to allow communication between the pod and team. Parameters such as acceleration, temperature and location are monitored in real time to allow the team to control the pod safely.
Scalability and Infrastructure
As the newest addition to the technical department, the Scalability and Infrastructure sub-team is designing an Hyperloop station for the city of Glasgow, which will serve as one of two stations on a Glasgow-London Hyperloop link. Focuses include structural design, airlock and docking systems, materiality, and passenger capacity and flow.
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