OPINION | How Hyperloop is Challenging the Current Technologies?
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OPINION | How Hyperloop is Challenging the Current Technologies?

By Bhavik Sarkhedi

Image Attribute: The Hyperloop Pod - Cheetah / Source: Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk, the billionaire, founder of PayPal, has given us an effective web-based payment technology before time, a set of new electric cars courtesy of Tesla Motors and an option of a private spaceflight through his organization SpaceX. Presently, Musk proposes to cut the travel time between Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 35 minutes by assembling a high-speed transportation system that would permit people to travel 760 miles (1,223 kilometers) per hour, or Mach 0.91 (expecting 68 degrees F/20 degrees C).

It sounds like a future-oriented dream, somewhat out of a sci-fi movie. Still, if Musk has his way, the innovative Hyperloop will replace the bullet trains and transform the whole land-based transportation ecosystem just as the locomotive and automobile did. The only problem is that no one really knows if the Hyperloop will ever work and even if it does, how much it will actually cost.

However, the prevailing constraints are not preventing Musk from pushing the idea. He claims the label price is a minuscule $6 billion for Los Angles - San Francisco passenger-only version and $7.5 billion for a somewhat larger-diameter version transporting passengers and vehicles. Many individuals are somewhat wary. Few engineers accept the fact that they couldn't construct a conventional size scaffold for such an inconsequential sum. In addition, the State of California is presently bleeding away its funds at an arrangement to construct a much slower rail network between the two urban areas at an exorbitant cost of $60 billion. It was this very recommendation that drove Musk to conceive the idea of "Hyperloop".

Musk wrote in a 57-page white paper which he published on the SpaceX site in August 2013, it's costly for the bullet train to be operated that is "one of the slowest on the planet." On the off chance that you're pondering, the California High-Speed Rail Authority gauges that the high-speed train will be fit enough for traveling at an average speed of 200 miles (322 kilometers) per hour.

According to Musk, How does the Hyperloop is going to work?

Notwithstanding the cost and the challenges of constructing a nearly supersonic transportation network, Musk says the Hyperloop is a combination of a train and a plane. In many regards, it's like traveling on a projectile through a shotgun barrel somewhat utilizing air cushioning effect with regulated air pressure deployment, nearly based on an air hockey game table concept but on a large scale, resembling a Vactrain i.e., Vacuum Train. All in all, how does the Hyperloop is going to work?

Elon Musk's reality, the Hyperloop will turn into a "fifth mode" of transportation, after the planes, trains, cars, and boats. Musk proposes individuals going through the Hyperloop in a pod that runs through steel tubes mounted on viaducts, intended to withstand California's seismic tremors. Those viaducts, made of highly strengthened reinforced concrete, would be placed at a distance of 100 feet from each other or somewhere as per the structural requirements prevailing in the vicinity and stand 20, 50 and 100 feet (6, 15 and 30 meters) high, contingent upon the terrain.

How precisely does Musk plan to complete this mega-engineering project?

All these things considered, he took a glance at a few potential outcomes. Mostly, he stated but misses the mark because of an assortment of various reasons. For instance, the Hyperloop may have the capacity to utilize intense fans to push the pods, much like pneumatic mail tubes at skyscrapers uses to push mail starting with one building then onto the next. Musk says while it's conceivable to build such behemoth fans, it's unreasonable in light of the fact that a 350-mile (563-kilometer) - a long segment of air moving so quickly would make a colossal measure of erosion inside the tube, making the kind of speed he plans to accomplish is inconceivable.

The man behind this idea has additionally discounted the movement of pods through vacuum tubes utilizing electromagnetic suspension, a similar innovation that maglev trains deploy. Musk discloses that it's hard to achieve an absolute vacuum in the tubes, particularly with a large number of pods entering and leaving each day from each end. In addition, the aluminum tubes may break or get punctured, giving the air a chance to move out, leading to a catastrophic depressurization in the system.

"All it takes is one flawed seal or a little split some place in the several miles of tube and the entire framework stops working," Musk wrote in his underlying Hyperloop report.

Another critical issue focuses on the pod traveling through a tube containing air. Musk says if the dividers of the tube and pod are near one another, "the container will carry on like a syringe." as such, the case, the transportation pod would push the whole segment of air in the segment of a tube as opposed to giving it a chance to stream through. The outcome is that the pods would need to travel gradually, or engineers would need to fabricate an enormous tube structure to make traveling snappier by keeping ample amount of space between the pod and internal tube surface. All things considered, riders would travel a few thousand miles per hour, subjecting their bodies to squashing G-forces while circumventing the sharp turns.

While many individuals concur that the critical issues that may arise due to the Hyperloop could most likely to be comprehended. But, many questions, at what cost. The $6 billion label price is exorbitantly low for the venture like this one. Though, the route to the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge totaled $6.4 billion. But, as far as the cost of the Hyperloop project is concerned, Musk wouldn't like to spend his own money and trusts others will invest in. If not, then maybe the man who put first privately owned rocket into space will likewise give the world the first working prototype of "Hyperloop".

About the Author:

Bhavik Sarkhedi is a mechanical engineer by profession and founder of 'Write Right' - a boutique content marketing firm based out of Ahmedabad, India. He tweets - @bk_sarkhedi