Superconductors and NO2 Monitoring Help Colorado Hyperloop

A bulk superconductor levitated by a permanent magnet Credit: University of Cambridge
A bulk superconductor levitated by a permanent magnet Credit: University of Cambridge

These two technology advances will help with the implementation of the Colorado Hyperloop. They also had large converging in the news sphere.

New record for a trapped field in a superconductor, beating a record that has stood for more than a decade, could herald the arrival of materials in a broad range of fields. 

The research demonstrates the potential of high-temperature superconductors for applications in a range of fields, including flywheels for energy storage, ‘magnetic separators’, which can be used in mineral refinement and pollution control, and in high-speed levitating monorail trains. – See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/cambridge-team-breaks-superconductor-world-record#sthash.rvWV1fP1.dpuf

Instead of monorails, lets think of hyperloops.

Next, the Denver haze/brown cloud has been monitored from Space!

Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country.
After ten years in orbit, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite has been in orbit sufficiently long to show that people in major U.S. cities are breathing less nitrogen dioxide – a yellow-brown gas that can cause respiratory problems.

Denver N02
Image Credit: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio/T. Schindler

Satellite data show that Denver has seen a 22 percent decrease in nitrogen dioxide between the 2005-2007 (left) and 2009-2011 (right) periods. NASA’s Discover-AQ, a multi-year airborne mission, is flying this summer in Denver to learn more about the region’s wide range of air pollutants.

Nitrogen dioxide is one of the six common pollutants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect human health. Alone it can impact the respiratory system, but it also contributes to the formation of other pollutants including ground-level ozone and particulates, which also carry adverse health effects. The gas is produced primarily during the combustion of gasoline in vehicle engines and coal in power plants. It’s also a good proxy for the presence of air pollution in general.
Air pollution has decreased even though population and the number of cars on the roads have increased. The shift is the result of regulations, technology improvements and economic changes, scientists say.

In fact, about 142 million people still lived in areas in the United States with unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to the EPA. Also, high levels of air pollution remain an issue in many other parts of the world, according to the global view from satellites.
“While our air quality has certainly improved over the last few decades, there is still work to do – ozone and particulate matter are still problems,” said Bryan Duncan, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Decision makers and regulatory agencies like EPA have long relied on data from ground sites to inform air quality science and forecasts. NASA, while not directly involved with regulation or making forecasts, provides a consistent, global, space-based view – not possible from any other source – of when and where air pollution occurs.

The hyperloop will further decrease the use of gas engines and coal power plants.

So lets hope those superconductors get implemented soon into transportation and lets hope the satellites monitoring the NO2 continue to work for years to come!

Leave a Reply