Prelims cum Mains Science & Tech

‘1,200 km/hour’: World’s first Hyperloop passenger capsule unveiled

The News

  • In a step toward high-speed transportation system, California-based Hyperloop TT unveiled the world’s first hyperloop passenger capsule named ‘Quintero One’.

 

Key Highlights

  • Quintero One is a 105 feet long hyperloop passenger capsule assembled by California-based Hyperloop TT.
  • Weighing 5 tons, it is made up of carbon fiber composites.
  • The skin of the capsule, also called ‘Vibranium’, is a specially-made dual-layer of smart composite material that is eight-times stronger than steel.
  • Quintero One is aimed to serve commercial tracks in China and Abu Dhabi in the coming years.

 

About Hyperloop

  • Hyperloop, touted to be the fifth mode of transport after rail, road, water, and air, is both fast and inexpensive for people and goods
  • Hyperloop will allow travel at the near-supersonic speeds of 1,200 kilometers per hour, or Mach 0.91.
  • Hyperloop gained popularity after Elon Musk published a White paper on it in 2013.
  • The Los Angeles area is emerging as a hyperloop center with Hyperloop TT, Arrivo, Virgin Hyperloop One, Musk’s The Boring Co, working in the space.
  • Virgin Hyperloop One has held discussions in India, and signed a preliminary agreement in Mumbai for a broad hyperloop framework and mooted a Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop system.

 

 

How does it work?

  • Hyperloop transportation system propels a pod-like vehicle.
  • It involves moving the passenger capsules through low-pressure near-vacuum tubes.
  • The pods work similar to pneumatic tubes that are used to deliver mails.
  • Firstly, the track on which the capsules move is essentially an electromagnetic motor laid flat on the floor.
  • Each pod is pushed along the track when an electric current is fed through the magnets.
  • Where an electric motor spins in a circle, the hyperloop pod is propelled forwards.
  • Nearly all of the air inside the hyperloop tube is removed with a series of vacuum pumps.
  • This is done to reduce the friction and therefore achieve large near-supersonic speeds thus creating a cost- and energy-efficient transport system.

 

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