The Cooper Hyperloop had a great start this new academic year as 15 new members joined. The whole team meets every Tuesday and each sub-team also meets at least once a week. On September 12th, we submitted our Intent to Compete Form to SpaceX, and are now officially recognized as one of the competing teams.
The brakes team has made significant progress and completed the construction of the testbed - an aluminum disk that rotates at a high speed - which began in July, 2018. This testbed allows the team to recreate the high velocity conditions between the brakes system and the test track. It also allows the team to estimate the drag profile of the magnets across the target velocity range (0 - 300 mph). The brakes use magnets - and thus an eddy current brake system - which slow down a moving object by dissipating kinetic energy as heat. After preliminary testing on the newly completed bed, the brakes team has also decided to eliminate the emergency friction brakes since eddy brakes have been deemed sufficient to bring the pod to a stop.
With significant interest from new members the electronics team has further divided into four sub teams - controls, power, communications, and safety - allowing for more focused work. In addition to developing printed circuit boards and the control software, the controls team has also developed a testing software to digitally simulate the pod’s velocity profile over the track.
The stability team, which has also expanded, has completed the designs for the initial iteration of the stability system. Having already acquired all the necessary parts, they will soon begin fabricating the designs and testing them on our in-house test track, which is identical to the one at SpaceX.
The acceleration team has found a way to go faster by switching from using a single motor to using two 100-kW Emrax motors with two independent drive wheels. Accounting for friction and drag losses, the acceleration team estimates the maximum velocity to now be 300 mph, faster than last year’s winning team.
The business team is continuously reaching out for sponsorship, both material and financial. In the last week of August, we were honored to host two Cooper alumni, Ben Itri and Gene Briskman, give them a tour of our facility and show them our design. As we have received more sponsorship this month, we are currently organizing facility tours for our new donors. On this note, we would like to thank New York Engineering and Rand Engineering and Architechture, DPC for their financial support.