About this project
Support for Waterloop is support for education, open source design, Canadian innovation, and technology free for commercialization.
What is a Hyperloop?
A Hyperloop is a high-speed passenger vehicle that will be faster than an airplane, cheaper than a train journey, and is powered entirely by renewable energy.
Where can you learn more about Hyperloop technology?
Elon Musk wrote a preliminary white paper detailing the basics of how the Hyperloop works. You can read the document here.
This is the Hyperloop pod that we are building. The GOOSE I is our half-scale, functional prototype vehicle pod. Fabrication for the pod is already underway and the funding from this Kickstarter will be used to complete its construction. This pod is entered in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to perform full systems tests on SpaceX’s one mile long test track at high-speeds and in a vacuum.
The GOOSE X is our conceptual Hyperloop passenger vehicle design which illustrates what a Hyperloop vehicle will one day look like, once the technology is ready for passenger use.
This design won't be built, but it is directly inspired by the pod that we are building for the competition and is about two times the size.
How Does a Hyperloop Benefit Canada?
Today if one wishes to travel the 450 km between Montreal and Toronto, they have several options: car, bus, train or airplane. A Hyperloop connecting the two cities could make the trip in just 30 minutes.
The Hyperloop will be quicker than all other forms of travel, it would be twice as fast as a bullet train and unlike an airplane, the Hyperloop offers direct arrival to the city centre. Conventional trains require a buffer-zone on either side of the track, greatly increasing the cost of land-rights; while the enclosed tube track of the Hyperloop, raised off the ground on concrete pylons, allows for the smallest possible footprint, and therefore the lowest cost attributed to land-rights.
An added benefit would be the environmental savings over conventional modes of transportation. Because a Hyperloop can run fully on electricity, once built, the energy needed to run the Hyperloop can come for solar panels on top of the Hyperloop track, allowing the entire Hyperloop system to be fully self-powered and even contribute energy back to the grid.
The Pod Shell:
The shell is designed to be as lightweight as possible while withstanding all of the forces it will be subjected to in the one-mile long test drive. This is made possible by introducing a geodetic diagrid frame which is designed to accept the applied forces better than a standard rectilinear frame. Although this style of framing has traditionally been considered more difficult to manufacture, this is quickly overcome with modern technology by precision modelling of the entire assembly in 3D, and the use of rapid fabrication technology including laser cutting and 3D printing.
Air levitation through the form of four air casters is supplied via two on-board scuba air tanks. The air casters create a thin sheet of air similar to an air hockey table upon which our pod floats. Air levitation is significantly less expensive, less complex, and produces less drag than magnetic levitation. Although air caster technology has been in use for decades and is well understood, our levitation system will be first of its kind when used in the low pressure Hypertube at SpaceX next January 2017.
Our Levitation system is fully functional!
Our hybrid braking system is mechanically fail-safe and functions even if all other systems fail. A combination of eddy current braking and friction braking is used. This allows for greater control over heat generation, higher performance, lower maintenance, and safety through redundancy.
Eddy Current Braking:
Our state-of-the-art contactless eddy current braking system uses 84 neodymium magnets arranged in a Halbach array. This arrangement doubles the magnetic strength on one side and cancels it out on the other. Braking force is achieved by exploiting the same drag produced in magnetic levitation - or when a permanent magnet is dropped down a copper tube. As the permanent magnets approach the I-beam while the pod is in motion, tiny circular electrical currents called eddy currents are induced within the beam which smoothly slows the pod down in a highly controlled fashion.
Our friction braking system is simple yet effective. Special brake linings made of resin-bonded synthetic rubber with steel fibers allow for effective energy transformation and heat dissipation, sparing damage to the I-beam.
The Low-speed Drive system allows for taxiing before the test, in order to position for launch, and after the test so that the pod can exit the Hypertube. This system uses an air cylinder to retract the drive wheel into the pod during high speed travel. A set of four idler wheels keep the air casters from contacting the ground when levitation stops.
The lateral control system uses two sets of spring-loaded caster wheels to maintain the lateral stability of the Goose I, with respect to the I-beam of the Hypertube. The system combines reliability, efficiency, safety, and comfort by using high speed, high performance, and dampened wheels.
The Electrical system is responsible for power distribution. Onboard power is delivered by a rechargeable 48V battery pack surrounded by a phase changing, fire-retardant matrix and enclosed in a sturdy PVC shell enclosure to keep it cool and secure.
The nervous system of our pod - using a multitude of sensors and actuators, the embedded system is responsible for the control of all other subsystems, position detection within the Hypertube, and communications between the pod and a remote control dashboard. This dashboard acts as a control center and a feed displaying information on the status of the pod.
If we reach $30 000.00 CAD:
- Team Waterloop will release a video update featuring our pneumatic levitation system!
- We will host an additional AMA on Reddit after our pod is complete (approximately January 2017), Follow our first AMA this Saturday October 29, 1pm EDT.
- Help us build a 300 ft test track in our 40k sq ft testing facility (LOT41)!
- We will release a video of our test runs if we meet this mark!
If we reach $35 000.00 CAD:
- Install a 100 ft aluminum I beam in our test track to test braking systems
- We will host a LIVE stream update at some point during the competition in January 2017 where our followers can ask team members questions!
If we reach $40 000.00 CAD:
- Material costs to reduce weight and increase levitation performance
- Carbon fibre frame and shell
If we reach $50 000.00 CAD:
- 360 video camera to live stream what GOOSE I sees during the race
- Support our competition II team
Here is a sneak peek of a 360 degree video from our levitation unveil, if you are unfamiliar with this format; you can click and drag the frame to see all video angles.
Why Fund Us?
For over a year, the Waterloop team has been meticulously designing, testing, and refining a feasible, creative, and innovative Hyperloop pod. Now it’s time to build. The work has already begun and in the coming weeks, the team will be working at full capacity to fabricate our pod, Goose I. We can’t do it without your help -- the money raised through this Kickstarter will go toward funding vital equipment and hardware that will turn our vision into reality. Help us make Goose I fly!
Waterloop represents an ongoing volunteer based effort for students of the University of Waterloo to continue working towards eliminating the technological barriers in bringing Hyperloop to Canada. All of us on the team share a dream that one day, distance will no longer be a barrier, and that we may live happier, more fulfilling lives with less time spent inside a vehicle.
After advancing to the third and final round of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, University of Waterloo's student Hyperloop design team is pursuing funding to construct their award-winning design for a half scale prototype, to be tested on a one-mile test track in Hawthorne, California in January 2017. Hyperloop will revolutionize our means of transportation by providing a highly economical, time saving, and energy efficient method of travel.
Our design utilizes a minimalist methodology that results in the most build-able and cost-effective solution possible, all without compromising safety. This design philosophy follows Elon Musk’s vision with SpaceX to have a basic, functional rocket that is efficient in fulfilling its purpose of achievable space travel. We believe that this will be the most practical and effective approach to deliver a Hyperloop pod that can be commercialized in the near future.
Progress to Date:
- Entered competition in July 2015
- Proof of concept design approved, phase 1 of competition completed in Fall 2015
- Design proposal approved, phase 2 of competition completed in Winter 2016
- Eddy current braking system test rig designed and constructed
- Test track constructed
- Frame constructed
- Levitation systems constructed
- Full systems designed
- Construction development on all systems
- Levitation systems operational and tested
- Full pod assembly complete
- Subsystem optimization and debugging
- Performance testing
- Build user interface and graphical data feeds
- Weight reduction
- Reliability and safety testing
- Vacuum chamber testing
- Upgrade test equipment if resources allow
- System optimization
- Weight reduction
- Reliability and safety testing
- Vacuum chamber testing
- Human factors improvements
- Performance testing
- Final pod improvements
Our team is committed to showcasing the contributions of our sponsors as we work towards our common goal of revolutionizing the transit industry. If you’d like to talk about ways you can support our driven, innovative, and ambitious team, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry, and together we’ll write the Hyperloop into history.
Waterloop has already gained international attention including coverage from TIME, The Discovery Channel, and CTV News. Anticipation is quickly building as the world turns its attention to competition day at the SpaceX test track in January 2017.
Risks and challenges
Revolutionizing the transportation industry isn’t easy. As we work tirelessly to bring our vision to life, we’re looking for valued partners who share our ambition and could provide us with the tools, resources, funding or expertise necessary to help Waterloop reach its greatest potential. Waterloop is committed to excelling in the competition, representing the talent, ingenuity, and passion of our team members.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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