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Info on Elons's HYPERLOOP?

Info on Elons's HYPERLOOP?

In the D11 conference Elon mentioned that he might spill some beans about the hyperloop after the pack swap announcement...they had some Q&A from the audience and someone asks to deliberate, but if he did "it will be the news tomorrow" he said. which makes me think its gonna be sweeeeet. the hyperloop sounds like it will be awe inspiring.

specifically, the question is at 50:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiPO4BUfov8

Benz | July 30, 2013

@ carlgo

I remember having seen an add which had tv screens instead of windows (maybe 2 years ago?). They could show the passengers the most beautiful landscapes, it was very nice.

carlgo | July 30, 2013

Thinking of air flow, big losses through long runs and huge power requirements, vacuum vs air...

ET3 made mention of twenty pods passing by a point every second. If the tube is filled with pods, then there is little air volume to deal with and this might mitigate air handling issues in a pressurized system.

There is no front to this endless articulating practically solid loop of pods, so there is no wind resistance in the sense of pushing air. The longer the hull, the greater the speed. The pod train in the loop would be infinite in length.

There would be a disk or cylinder of air between each pod. Perhaps the air surface actually touching the loop's wall would be minimal and not cause friction and heat problems. Or, there could be bellows between each pod. it would be more like the air goes along for the ride, like air inside a jet's cabin, and does not slow things down.

If each pod, or a percentage of them, had a seal that at least loosely contacted the tube, then air in the tube could be pushed out of vents in the tubes and would not compress (add an air turbine for some energy recovery). Air would enter behind the partial vacuum that results and act to push the system forward, or at least not impede it.

Railgun motors would accelerate the pods, keep them moving as needed and send pods to exits and stops. Each pod would be a fan blade. There would be energy recovery as pods are slowed down, and in the vent turbines. Levitating rails would eliminate contact friction. This is pretty much all the food groups I think.

An expensive vacuum system would seem to not be necessary in this scenario, although it might have advantages in other ways.

Or, even crazier, think of it like a giant flywheel. It would not generate power, but it might provide for some storage and could aid in the evening out and redistribution of power, a coast to coast capacitor. Maybe there would be other ways to harness all this.

I do not understand the "cannot crash" part. It is, as they say, not the speed but the sudden stop.

Benz | July 30, 2013

Electricity will somehow have a functionality in the Hyperloop, I guess.

EvaP | July 30, 2013

With the vacuum the problem is that the compartments have to be completely air tight and unbreakable. Imagine when a window breaks and everybody either suffocates or is sucked/blown out by air...

If everything is airtight, how do people get in and out?

Not sure if I understand the whole system, just trying to imagine how it works.

TeslaRocks | August 8, 2013

Moving air flow is more safe and practical, as illustrated above, but it would also allow to store energy in the system as Elon mentioned would be a feature. The only cost or limiting factor would be friction between the air and the walls of the tube, as well as turbulence. All of this could be optimized with computer models and wind tunnels, perhaps even with new technology to help reduce friction. As I once suggested, fast segments will be narrow and will slowly taper into big segments towards the terminals, where the huge diameter of the pipe will mean a very low wind and pod speed, safe "landing" into a docking hole or garage, and much less friction and turbulence for the air flow to turn 180 degrees.

I'm excited to soon find out about the hyperloop. I used to dream about high-speed rail that would be faster than planes and large enough to carry your car with you, but even just the speculation about the hyperloop already sounds better than what I had in mind. It sounds like the hyperloop could be mostly automated, affordable to ride, fun, and I hope you can just drive your Tesla EV into a pod and go, if you wish, although pods for pedestrians should definitely be available. Loading your Tesla in a pod could add to the safety while decreasing the cost, because you would benefit from the safety features of your car such as seat belts should anything happen. Such car-ready pods could also be simpler to build because they wouldn't need seats since you're bringing your own.

SamO | September 19, 2013

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/android-vs-ios-race-has-never-been-clo...

Hyperloop sounds crazy ... but simulation says it just might work

Brian H | December 31, 2014

"implicancies" is not a word. implications is.

jgreelis | January 1, 2015

Interesting concept

600 mph is kinda slow versus instantaneous, but it is fast for 20th century technologies.

Made that LA to SF trip many times up and down 101 back in the 50's and 60's

Now driving up and down I95 between mid-FL and outskirts of DC

I still would go for teleporting and it only looking for $5 mil instead of $6 bil

Just read the history of UFT, was surprised to see how closely those theories were to what the project proposes.

Brian H | January 1, 2015

A live demo of moving a nail and a cockroach 10', please?

DallasTG | March 8, 2015

Interesting story on various hyperloop iniatives in the March 2 edition of Forbes

Lubdub | March 8, 2015

If you have a link that would be great.
I heard a company is proposing a 5 mile section In Kings County California paralleling US 5.

jfhsu | June 16, 2015

I just want to throw in a version without such thing as high vacuum or maglev, etc. Anyone care to comment on a system based on something like maintaining very high speed airflow inside a tube loop,while passive pods can be inject into and divert out of the main loop from various points? The "jet stream in a tube" can be achieved by gradual acceleration and maintained with moderate energy input.

Brian H | June 16, 2015

Dangerous, and deceleration of selected pods etc. is very tricky.

rlwrw | June 16, 2015

I tried to set up a thread on this competition this morning, but it was blocked as "spam."
New competition for Hyperloop designers.
http://www.space.com/29673-spacex-announces-hyperloop-competition.html
Pods to be demonstrated June, 2016. That's next year!
If the test tube (pun intended) runs through the SpaceX factory, will it speed up the Falcon assembly line?
Attach a P85D for quick startups.
Seriously, I am excited to see what various designers can spawn.

Grinnin'.VA | June 18, 2015

@ rlwrw | June 16, 2015

Pods to be demonstrated June, 2016. That's next year!

Count me among the skeptics on this.

I expect the project to be delayed, delayed, and delayed.
Most likely, they'll discover sooner or later that it isn't cost-effective and abandon it.

Just my opinion.

Dreams are rather low-cost things.
Designing, building and testing such a system, however, is quite a bit more difficult.

BTW, what's the latest projected success date for SpaceX recovering a booster by landing it in reusable condition on a barge in the ocean? I believe SpaceX will be able to do that "soon". Really, I think they can and will do it. And that it will be worth the effort.

Ankit Mishra | June 19, 2015

One big force will be required for hyperloop as well for it to succeed. It seems Elon will be regularly guiding the effort with the help of Tesla and Spacex. Maybe in few years Elon might take over the idea if no considerable progress is seen.

grega | June 19, 2015

"BTW, what's the latest projected success date for SpaceX recovering a booster by landing it in reusable condition on a barge in the ocean? I believe SpaceX will be able to do that "soon". Really, I think they can and will do it. And that it will be worth the effort."

Harder to find this answer than I expected (I wanted to know too)

"NASA commercial partner SpaceX currently is targeting Sunday, June 28... The company’s Falcon 9 rocket will lift off at 10:21 a.m. carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft to the station ...". That's EDT.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37739.msg1391691#msg139...

Brian H | June 21, 2015

Yes, that's the last barge attempt. Then onshore:

9 Aug 2015 04:30:00 Jason 3 Polar LEO SLC-4E, Vandenberg, California
.
Jason 3 is a scientific Earth observation satellite designed to monitor and precisely measure the world’s oceans. Falcon 9 will attempt to land back at SLC-4W, marking the first land landing.

Note that return to launch pad capability will reduce the cost to orbit by about 100X. Halfway to anywhere in the solar system!

Grinnin'.VA | June 22, 2015

@ Brian H | June 21, 2015

Yes, that's the last barge attempt. Then onshore:

Falcon 9 will attempt to land back at SLC-4W, marking the first land landing.

Hopefully, it will land safely on the barge in good condition.

Note that return to launch pad capability will reduce the cost to orbit by about 100X.

I understood that reusing boosters might reduce the costs a great deal, but I hadn't heard the "100X" factor. That would be an astounding cost reduction. Where did you find that number?

Red Sage ca us | June 23, 2015

Even if the material cost per rocket were only half, due to refurbishing/refitting/refueling, if you get fifty uses out of one rocket, that is 100 times the cost of launches reduced.

Brian H | June 25, 2015

I have read up to 1000X, but Elon has stated 100X a few times. Compare the cost of fuel for a flight to the cost of fuel plus rocket. Assume 200 re-uses, and you get >100X reduction.

Grinnin'.VA | June 25, 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | June 23, 2015

Even if the material cost per rocket were only half, due to refurbishing/refitting/refueling, if you get fifty uses out of one rocket, that is 100 times the cost of launches reduced.

No Red, it would be a 50% reduction, assuming that the system worked perfectly every single time.

@ Brian H | June 25, 2015

I have read up to 1000X, but Elon has stated 100X a few times. Compare the cost of fuel for a flight to the cost of fuel plus rocket. Assume 200 re-uses, and you get >100X reduction.

Please explain your math. I was a math major and I don't understand it.

IMO, 200 reuses per rocket booster would represent an extraordinary level of success (99.5%) for rocket launch-to-orbit missions. I'm guessing that the recovery/reuse will fail for about 1% of the missions.

Also, ignoring that inconvenient fact,

1. It costs more to make and launch the rocket with its sea barge landing/recovery feature than it does for the same rocket without this feature. It takes more fuel to do the controlled descent and landing. That extra fuel must be added to the payload at liftoff, which of course requires even more fuel to power the liftoff. I'm guessing that the overall increase in fuel load would be about 2%.

2. Each recovery/reuse causes costs that wouldn't be required for the option of skipping the recovery/reuse feature. My rough guess that this would be about 10% of the cost of the booster.

My best guess is that the cost of the boosters without recovery/reuse vs with recover/reuse would be about 10:1, not 100:1.

Of course, a 10:1 reduction in a major system component would be a huge improvement. I look forward to SpaceX testing this innovation and proving its value in rocket launches.

sbeggs | June 25, 2015

@Grinnin',

Your post shows your training as a math major; I had been wondering what you did during your career. Many of your posts also show the use of logic, and so I was thinking that you or someone in your family had a background in the law.

I can trace my interest in metalworking to my E.E. father giving me metals for my collection while he worked at Westinghouse, and I can see how my Ukrainian grandparents influenced me, for example, in my love of cooking (they were restaurant owners and chefs).

What I am trying to figure out is where the linguistic talent comes from. So I have been exploring my ancestors on ancestry.com. The most fantastic piece of software ever written, by the way.

Have you investigated your ancestors, who they were, where they lived or did for a living, or do you consider that it's irrelevant and the present is all that matters? If this is too personal a question, you need not answer.

Somehow, discussions about the Hyperloop seem to lead one down a strange alternate universe...!

rlwrw | June 25, 2015

To get this thread back on track...
@Grinnin': I'm interested in your take on the practicality of the Hyperloop.
At first glance, it looks like something one sees on paper and thinks, "I wish I'd thought of that," but in reality, there's some little unknown that renders it non-achievable.
Case in point: I once saw a covered horse arena that had sprinklers hanging from the ceiling to water the footing, and thought, "I wish I'd thought of that." Turns out that it was impractical because the slightest puff of wind would blow the water outside the arena onto the driveway, and, of course, there was always some sort of breeze. This resulted in expensive, and useless arena decorations.
So on Hyperloop, if the math works, what could sneak in to make it disruptive?

Red Sage ca us | June 25, 2015

Build 50 rockets. Use each one once.

~*or*~

Build 50 rockets that are each used 100 times.

Which option is more economical?

Grinnin'.VA | June 26, 2015

@ sbeggs | June 25, 2015

@Grinnin',

... I had been wondering what you did during your career. Many of your posts also show the use of logic, and so I was thinking that you or someone in your family had a background in the law.

My academic training: BS in math, MS in physics, PhD in industrial engineering

My professional career: research physicist, then operations research specialist, then planning and engineering manager in the telecommunications industry. Two U.S. patents, one a solo

No family background in law.

What I am trying to figure out is where the linguistic talent comes from.

Thanks for the compliment. Early in my work as a research physicist, I wrote the first drafts of lab reports on analytic results from examining nuclear explosion debris for the leadership of the U.S. (six steps from to the president). One of my early drafts was poorly written. My supervisor's supervisor called me into his office and expressed strong disappointment. Immediately, I decided that writing was important, and that I needed to do a lot better.

Have you investigated your ancestors, who they were, where they lived or did for a living, or do you consider that it's irrelevant and the present is all that matters?

I'm firmly in the 'irrelevant' camp on this.
rlwrw | June 25, 2015

@Grinnin': I'm interested in your take on the practicality of the Hyperloop.

I have only a hazy understanding of the Hyperloop. Here's what I think it's intended to do:

* Point-to-point, high-speed travel over distances of up to a few hundred miles
* Vehicles traveling in a vacuum tube, presumably positioned and propelled by magenetism

I think of it as intended to be a higher-speed alternative to current "bullet trains" and short-moderate distance airline travel.

Major challenges:

* Those tubes are very large; it would be very costly to sustain a vacuum in them.
* The transition between loading and movement would be difficult (gotta keep providing air for the passengers to breath)
* Control would be more challenging than for bullet trains.
* I'd expect that terminal facilities for Hyperloop would be similar in scope and cost to small airports.

AFAIK, Hyperloop has one single advantage: the energy needed to sustain high speeds would be less.

My gut reaction is that this is probably just another pipe dream.

(BTW, landing booster rockets on barges in the ocean is NOT a pipe dream. In principle, we've known how to do that for a few decades now.)

sbeggs | June 26, 2015

@Grinnin',

Thanks for the confirmation on the depth of your scientific background.

Son of the American Revolution?

Guy2095 | June 26, 2015

@rlwrw,

Since you have only a hazy understanding of the Hyperloop but enough interest to comment on it you might find this Wait But Why worth checking out:

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/hyperloop.html

rlwrw | June 27, 2015

Going back and reviewing the tech specs, I caught the "air hockey" suspension because I didn't think the Hyperloop was using any maglev technology. Ok, that fits in with the front air dam buildup that needed to be evacuated.
I also reviewed the security, and other "what ifs," and all seem plausible.
This leaves me with only two stumbling blocks:
A: Southwest Airlines and commercial aviation interests
B: Money

I am both a private pilot and model railroader, but I do not see high speed rail as a solution to the commutes as it is only incrementally faster than Amtrak from an overall standpoint. Anywhere high speed trains have to share existing trackage, there will be no advantage at all.
Not as much of a security issue with Hyperloop as with airlines. Can leave a lot sooner.

Grinnin'.VA | June 28, 2015

@ rlwrw | June 27, 2015

Going back and reviewing the tech specs, I caught the "air hockey" suspension because I didn't think the Hyperloop was using any maglev technology.

How could Hyperloop vehicles/modules start from a standing stop suspended by an "air hockey" effect in a tube that has very low air pressure in it?

Red Sage ca us | June 28, 2015

Didn't the internet make bullet trains obsolete?

Grinnin'.VA | June 29, 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | June 28, 2015

Didn't the internet make bullet trains obsolete?

No, but the internet did eliminate all public standards for decency.

Ankit Mishra | June 29, 2015

Guys please post a thread about Falcon 9 mishap. I am being blocked by spam filter.

rlwrw | June 29, 2015

How could Hyperloop vehicles/modules start from a standing stop suspended by an "air hockey" effect in a tube that has very low air pressure in it?

Wheels at low speeds and stopped.

Grinnin'.VA | June 29, 2015

@ rlwrw | June 29, 2015

How could Hyperloop vehicles/modules start from a standing stop suspended by an "air hockey" effect in a tube that has very low air pressure in it?

Wheels at low speeds and stopped.

How fast would it need to run on wheels before the "air hockey" effect would provide enough lift to bear the weight of the module?

Red Sage ca us | June 29, 2015

I always had the notion that Hyperloop was simply a vehicle sized transport system that would operate on the same principles as a pneumatic tube messaging system used between buildings or at bank drive through windows.

Brian H | June 29, 2015

Magnetic suspension, in a soft vacuum.

Grinnin'.VA | June 30, 2015

I reiterate my expectation. I do not expect such a system to prove practical in the next few decades, if ever.

Timo | June 30, 2015

http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop

Maybe someone proves you wrong.

rlwrw | June 30, 2015

@Red Sage
A pneumatic tube messaging system relies on a vacuum/airflow to push or suck the pod along. The Hyperloop has no flow of air or vacuum through the tube. It is up to the pod to get moving by itself.
Typically, wheels would get the motion started up to a speed where a build up of air compression at the front of the pod could be sucked through the pod for higher speeds.
This is what the competition is all about. How to accomplish this feat.
Amusing sight gag: Passengers battling hurricane force winds being blown through the pod.

@Grinnin'
Air hockey effect would probably kick in at a speed calculated for maximum weight and cargo capacity of the pod vs effective lifting effect.

Grinnin'.VA | June 30, 2015

@ rlwrw | June 30, 2015

@Grinnin'
Air hockey effect would probably kick in at a speed calculated for maximum weight and cargo capacity of the pod vs effective lifting effect.

I would guess that the speed required would be something between the takeoff speed and cruising speed of an airplane. Is that correct?

Brian H | June 30, 2015

The train travels at ~800 mph, scoops and compresses the thin air, ejects it downward. It is accelerated and braked by large induction motors.

The Hyperloop's capsules would be propelled by linear induction motors spaced throughout the tube. Magnets on the tube’s internal surface would function as the stator, with an electric current supplied to them to generate a magnetic field. Magnets on the capsule would function as the rotor, spurred on by those in the tube. Those accelerators would also have two inverters that would push outgoing capsules along while capturing energy from incoming capsules that are slowing down (while there is one tube for each direction of travel, this means the directions for either could be reversed).
.
The capsules would travel at a “relatively low speed” between 0 and 300 miles per hour while entering and exiting urban areas and maintain at about 300 mph while crossing mountainous areas. Once they reach the flatter I-5 stretch, they could be sped up by the linear accelerators to up to 760 mph to coast at roughly that speed for the bulk of the journey.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/08/hyperloop-a-theoretical-760-mph-...

Brian H | June 30, 2015

Grinnin';
The fuel cost is negligible. The hardware cost of 100 rockets is 100X the cost of one. Allow for extra cost per rocket and fast refurb, and 200 re-uses reduces launch cost by >100X (100 vs. 1.x / 200). Like re-using a jetliner rather than building a new one each flight.

BTW the issue is nothing to do with landing routinely on barges; that is just temporary, for testing safety. Better to have a crash on a barge than on land! Same reason launches are over ocean rather than over land.

Grinnin'.VA | July 1, 2015

@ Brian H | June 30, 2015

Grinnin';
The fuel cost is negligible. The hardware cost of 100 rockets is 100X the cost of one. Allow for extra cost per rocket and fast refurb, and 200 re-uses reduces launch cost by >100X (100 vs. 1.x / 200). Like re-using a jetliner rather than building a new one each flight.

I'm unaware of any rocket capable of launching a satellite that has been able to achieve a 99.5% launch success rate. That includes SpaceX's rockets.

Now, of course, if a SpaceX rocket with a reusable first-stage booster could be launched successfully 99.9% of the attempts, the economic benefit would be dramatic. But such a rocket doesn't exist.

Can we discuss real rockets instead of just throwing around numbers that claiming huge benefits for a hypothetical rocket that is far superior to SpaceX's current rockets?

Or had you not noticed that launching rockets into space is still a very difficult and risky endeavor?

Timo | July 1, 2015

It isn't that hard once bugs are cleared and you start to get routine flights with proven techs. It's the new developments that make rockets explode. This newest SpaceX explosion was just that, new things that didn't quite work like expected.

Red Sage ca us | July 1, 2015

Riding a horse was far more difficult than walking, until someone figured out how to do it.

Using an ICE based automobile was far more trouble than having a horse drawn carriage, until someone figured out how to do it.

Flying a plane was way more trouble than a balloon or dirigible, until someone figured out how to do it.

Propeller planes were much more reliable than jets, until someone figured out how to do it.

Building a single shot rocket with a passenger capsule seemed like a great idea, until the idea of reusable space shuttles came along, and someone figured out how to do it.

My guess is that once someone figures out how to do it, multiple use rockets that cash return to base on land will be the preferred method of placing payooads and passengers in orbit.

SpaceX is figuring out how to do it. You learn more from failure than you do from success. It's a process of elimination, until all you have left are good ideas that work best for the task at hand.

Brian H | July 1, 2015

What do crashes have to do with reusability costs?

grega | July 1, 2015

FWiW, if you just take EM's hope that a person will pay $500k to get to mars, in a 100 person rocket, then you can see that he's aiming at a $50million launch, transit to mars, land, launch, return, land.

Longish term.

I think he once stated that he though $6million for a reusable falcon9 was doable.

grega | July 1, 2015

@rlwrw wrote: "At first glance, it looks like something one sees on paper and thinks, "I wish I'd thought of that," but in reality, there's some little unknown that renders it non-achievable.".... and then "So on Hyperloop, if the math works, what could sneak in to make it disruptive?"

The hyper loop itself would be disruptive if it was as fast and cheap as described.
But I'm going to assume you mean "what could sneak in to make it unachievable?".

A few people have commented that the expansion of the tubes as temperatures change night and day will add huge length to the tubing, so it can't just slide on the supporting beams to allow for that.

I suspect the ability for a pod to exit the tube, unload and load, then re-enter the tube will be difficult - I'd think that they'd be better off keeping the track single and straight, stopping at one intermediate stop (with 10 different stops, but each pod being allocated just one).

I also note that the small size is a benefit and problem. It makes the tubes lighter and easier to support, but also impossible to get up and walk about while travelling like a normal train - but also even to get to the toilet like when flying. There'll be passengers every day that NEED the toilet. Though this may also be a design plan, rather than just an issue of insufficient size - perhaps forcing everyone to stay seated allows for higher acceleration and deceleration this may be useful.

In terms of building costs, looking at the high-speed-rail designs proposed for Australia (by an interested 3rd party, not the government), the biggest problem is in keeping long diameter curves to any bends. It severely affects where the tracks are built. If the hyperloop is small, silent and elevated then going above farmland makes it far more achievable. But in terms of finding huge, long straights - if a hyperloop pod could be built with significantly high acceleration and deceleration, such that it could slow down at given corners but speed up quickly, it might make building hyperloop tracks much more achievable. But it'd make passengers sick unless the room moved to make the acceleration less perceptible.

grega | July 1, 2015

(another case of wishing I could edit...)

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