IIT-Madras’ team Avishkar, the only Asian participants to the Hyperloop Pod Competition hosted by space transportation and exploration company SpaceX, have now made it all the way to the finals.
The noted competition which is closely fought by students from all over the world saw a total participation of about 1,500 teams globally. Their goal was to create a “pod” or a travelling vessel for the hyperloop concept.
Avishkar Hyperloop is the student team from Centre For Innovation (CFI) – IIT Madras, working on an indigenous design and development for building the first-ever self-propelled, completely autonomous Hyperloop Pod in India. The team is working with a vision to develop technologies for a future mode of high-speed transportation with applications in various fields including Defence, Logistics and Aerospace Industry, among others.
Speaking to us at a previous occasion, the Dr SR Chakravarthy, Faculty Advisor, Avishkar Hyperloop, and Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras, had said, “The team has taken strenuous technical efforts at every stage, and has been quite professional about executing the project. This is an important milestone for the future transportation technology in our country.”
Hyperloop is the fifth mode of transportation, a high-speed train that travels in a near-vacuum tube. The reduced air resistance allows the capsule inside the tube to reach speeds of more than 1,000 kmph. Elon Musk, Founder of SpaceX, proposed the idea of Hyperloop to the world in 2013 through whitepaper Hyperloop Alpha.
The Pod developed by Avishkar Team spans about 3 metres in length and weighs around 120 kilos. The electric propulsion employs BLDC motors and wheel drive. The team started the design by brainstorming on how the pod would be built, beginning with vehicle kinematics and dynamics, motors, power system and braking, stability, and finally designing the CFRP chassis and structures.