The university’s Hyperloop team – also known as ‘HypED’ – is building a prototype pod for the SpaceX Pod Competition, which is being organised by leading aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and will take place at the company’s headquarters in California in late August.
HypED is one of 24 technical teams worldwide, and one of only four from Europe, that has been selected to compete as a finalist in the competition. RS is supporting HypED in the building of the prototype pod with the supply of key components including semiconductors, batteries, cabling and connectors, switches, heatsinks and a range of mechanical parts. In addition to RS, HypED is also being supported and financed by Cirrus Logic and the University of Edinburgh Innovative Initiative Grant.
Hyperloop is a radical new concept for the future of mass transport, created and popularised in 2013 by Elon Musk, the world-renowned inventor, engineer and entrepreneur. Using electric propulsion to accelerate a pod or capsule through a low-pressure tube, Hyperloop offers the possibility to transport people and goods quickly and safely across distances of up to 900 miles and at speeds faster than a commercial airliner. Offering advantages such as being failsafe, environmentally friendly and very quiet, the Hyperloop concept has the potential to revolutionise transportation, potentially displacing high-speed rail and short-haul flights.
SpaceX is also a licenser of Hyperloop technology to innovators and universities, and the company has built a prototype subscale tube at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The SpaceX competition will focus on the building of functional half-scale Hyperloop pods that are designed to race down the SpaceX low-pressure tube, which is approximately one mile in length and has a six-foot outer diameter.