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Elon Musk's Hyperloop


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#1 FCP Bob

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:14 PM

Musk could go down as one of the greats of the 21st Century if this proves to be viable.



Revealed: Elon Musk Explains the Hyperloop, His 800 MPH Pneumatic Tube That Could Revolutionize Transportation



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Almost a year after Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors (TSLA) and SpaceX, first floated the idea of a superfast mode of transportation, he has finally revealed the details: a solar-powered, city-to-city elevated transit system that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. In typical Musk fashion, the Hyperloop, as he calls it, immediately poses a challenge to the status quo—in this case, California’s $70 billion high-speed train that has been knocked by Musk and others as too expensive, too slow, and too impractical.

In Musk’s vision, the Hyperloop would transport people via aluminum pods enclosed inside of steel tubes. He describes the design as looking like a shotgun with the tubes running side by side for most of the journey and closing the loop at either end. These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart, and the pods inside would travel up to 800 miles per hour. Some of this Musk has hinted at before; he now adds that pods could ferry cars as well as people. “You just drive on, and the pod departs,” Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek in his first interview about the Hyperloop.

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#2 ajs510

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:25 AM

This kind of setup has been on my mind for a couple of years...in order to be viable I think the whole system of tubes will need to be buried underground otherwise it will be too vulnerable. I love the concept of getting in my car in Rochester, driving to the tunnel system and popping out an hour or two later in Vegas or Phoenix or wherever I wanted to be that day. Power it with nuclear substations augmented by large solar arrays...100% electrical system with no dependency on gas/oil.

The world is badly in need of a new means of transport...airplane travel is rapidly becoming too expensive to be sustainable and it is entirely reliant on fossil fuels. I believe the US government should embrace the concept of an interlinked system of maglev tunnels the way they embraced the Eisenhower Interstate System back in the 50's. Even if building the thing cost a trillion dollars that's what...one twentieth of the national budget for a year? It also stimulates the economy by the same trillion dollars and puts hundreds of thousands of people to work.

There's no reason in this day and age of computing that the system couldn't be designed and configured to work the same way Ethernet works...each tube in the system is assigned a header indicating it's destination, and the switching/routing equipment is responsible for detecting those headers and directing them along the best path to the destnation. It's just money and effort to get it built, and it won't happen large-scale (or likely at all) without government buy-in.

#3 AmScray

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:53 PM

What do you do with the displaced air at the other end of the tube?

Buffer it? Bleed it?
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#4 FCP Bob

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:44 PM

View PostAmScray, on 13 August 2013 - 12:53 PM, said:

What do you do with the displaced air at the other end of the tube?

Buffer it? Bleed it?

I think it's a very low air pressure closed loop so there isn't actually an end of the tube.
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#5 SuperJon

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:55 PM

View Postajs510, on 13 August 2013 - 05:25 AM, said:

This kind of setup has been on my mind for a couple of years...in order to be viable I think the whole system of tubes will need to be buried underground otherwise it will be too vulnerable. I love the concept of getting in my car in Rochester, driving to the tunnel system and popping out an hour or two later in Vegas or Phoenix or wherever I wanted to be that day. Power it with nuclear substations augmented by large solar arrays...100% electrical system with no dependency on gas/oil.

What kind of safeguards would there be against it breaking down (could it break down) mid-transit?

I would imagine they would have to have openings (not necessarily a get on or off point) at multiple points along the tube.

#6 ajs510

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:08 PM

View PostSuperJon, on 13 August 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:

What kind of safeguards would there be against it breaking down (could it break down) mid-transit?

I would imagine they would have to have openings (not necessarily a get on or off point) at multiple points along the tube.

I'm envisioning entire cities underground kind of like giant subway terminals. My thought is that there wouldn't be just a single loop, but an interconnected system of many loops (citywide, regional, intercontinental) all feeding into and out of each other redundantly like high speed data networks or a better way to think of it is the freeway system...local roads connect to highways connect to interstates.

If you have enough monitoring and redundancy then breakdowns should be minimal..if the combination maglev/air pressure system fails then one component of it takes over, either the maglev or the air pressure. Slower speed but at least you're not stranded.

#7 AmScray

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 06:48 AM

View PostFCP Bob, on 13 August 2013 - 01:44 PM, said:

I think it's a very low air pressure closed loop so there isn't actually an end of the tube.

Internal flow; flowage confined by some sort of surface area.

When you send a bullet down a barrel, it displaces all the air in that barrel which itself exits with tremendous force. It's actually more disruptive on soft tissue than the bullet itself, if you press it up against flesh. Same idea with a bangstick against sharks. A lot of them use blanks. The violent, compressed discharge of gas is enough to wreak havoc, no solid projectile required.

With this tube train, there would either have to be enough space between the chamber walls and the pod to allow flowage which would coalesce as massive parasitic drag on the ass of the pod, or little space which would result in enormous displacement down the line.

No doubt people who specialize in this shit could figure out a way to manage it, but its an interesting question.
Probably not too hard. Just make sure there's enough open tube in front of the stop to let the air slow back down again before it reaches the next stop.
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#8 ajs510

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:17 AM

I think the ideal would be to consider the pods as through they *were* projectiles and utilize the same principles as a bullet from a gun...barely any clearance between the pod and the tube, with a lot of built up gas pressure driving it from behind. Have blowoff points at the stops where all that gas can escape...slowing the pod down for arrival.

#9 AmScray

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:39 AM

Would take a lot of energy to generate that much gas.
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#10 ajs510

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:02 PM

View PostAmScray, on 14 August 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

Would take a lot of energy to generate that much gas.

Yeah definitely, but you could cut the amount necessary by using like 95% maglev and 5% air pressure (probably more like 100% maglev) to get it moving initially and then ramp up the air pressure while scaling back the maglev dependency. Otherwise you're looking at basically a gigantic air cannon with a dump valve to get the pod moving and that wouldn't exactly be passenger-ideal. Once it's moving it's just a matter of keeping/increasing momentum.

#11 AmScray

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:20 PM

I don't know much about how maglev works.

Isn't it some sort of magnetic levitation that decreases frictive drag on the rails?
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#12 ajs510

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:45 PM

View PostAmScray, on 14 August 2013 - 12:20 PM, said:

I don't know much about how maglev works.

Isn't it some sort of magnetic levitation that decreases frictive drag on the rails?

Partly...it's opposing magnetic forces on the rails and the train that lift the train up, but then it's also a means of propulsion using the same principles. Think of magnet A pushing against magnet B to provide lift, and magnet C pushing against magnet D to provide thrust.

#13 Pot Odds RAC

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:54 PM

View Postajs510, on 14 August 2013 - 10:17 AM, said:

I think the ideal would be to consider the pods as through they *were* projectiles and utilize the same principles as a bullet from a gun...barely any clearance between the pod and the tube, with a lot of built up gas pressure driving it from behind. Have blowoff points at the stops where all that gas can escape...slowing the pod down for arrival.
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#14 ajs510

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:08 PM

Rifling would be one hell of a carnival ride...

#15 phlegm

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

View PostAmScray, on 13 August 2013 - 12:53 PM, said:

What do you do with the displaced air at the other end of the tube?

Buffer it? Bleed it?
Vacumize the tube.
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#16 FCP Bob

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:41 PM


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#17 AmScray

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:03 AM

The whole 'move the screen with your hands' is cute, but basically what he's doing is announcing to the world the existance of robust 3d computer modelling which, ya know...isn't exactly a shocker to anyone who keeps up with this shit.

Solidworks don't come cheap, yo.
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#18 Dubey

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:50 AM

View PostFCP Bob, on 05 September 2013 - 03:41 PM, said:




How does he plan to combat my cat walking on the keyboard while I use the computer?




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