The MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium was where Elon Musk answered a question on the Hyperloop. The question was prompted by Elliot Owen, who built a working model of the hyperloop tube and pods (that can be seen below). The question can be seen in the link below, at the 01:02:00 mark:
He was asked by on whether temperature of the Hyperloop tube would be too high. Elon responded that the diameter of the hyperloop tube would be twice the diameter of the hyperloop pod, to allow air to flow around the pod. You dont want a tight fit.
Inner part of the hyperloop tube must be smooth. So you might even have to run a grinder in the inside of the tube to smooth it out.
The air-ski’s are spring when the pod is moving through the tube.
Expansion of the tube, due to thermal differences, must happen at the terminals. Each pylon must also be allowed to stretch, and you can’t hard constrain it at the pylons.
So much more in the interview and questions, so just watch the whole interview. Below are Elliot Owen’s working model of the hyperloop & presentation.
The title of this post is Controlling the Colorado Hyperloop Environment.
Yes, controlling is a strong word. Does it mean physically or politically?
Also, environment means many different things. Is that social, or weather related?For a large transportation project that stretches miles over the horizon, the role of the environment (weather and politically) is critical to system stability.
Lets focus on Mother Nature. The hyperloop will be covered in a weather/waterproof cement like tube. These will be the main controlling factor to the environment inside the tubes. Other innovative systems are also trying to control the environment. Take for example a article on NextCity.org about MIT’s CityFarm.
So a closed environment is good idea especially if you are trying to do certain, specific things.
Now lets talk about the political and city environment. When the hyperloop is built it will lead to a shift in citizens expectations. Controlling such an environment will not be easy, nor should it be controlled. Another NextCity.org article had some good thoughts on how the change in the potical environment of cities due to a Hyperloop:
Colorado’s population is 6th in the nation for growth. But the growth of 65 and older Coloradans is far more dramatic.
“We’ve been talking with our local governments,” said senior planner Brad Calvert. “People are struggling with the immensity of the issue, how broad and deep the challenges are. The topic is so big, they don’t know where to start. ”
Nationally, about 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day until 2030. In Colorado, long home to a young population, the impact will be dramatic.
States like Hawaii and Minnesota have already created strategic plans for the aging population, but Colorado has not.
“There’s not been a long-term strategic plan on how we’re going to meet the needs that are already coming up with this aging population,” said Rich Mauro, senior policy and legislative analyst at DRCOG. “It’s not something we can put off any longer.”
Thus, more people will be using all kinds of transportation for the foreseeable future. In order to accommodate this trend, we must reimagine transportation for all kinds of population, but especially for the aging.
Initiatives like MIT’s AgeLab is doing exactly that. They take a systems perspective to make sure all groups are accounted for in predicting the future. The AgeLab found that the vehicle and the driver must be enabled for a future of increasing immobility as drivers get older. So in the video below they focus on infrastructure being the the most important and challenging thing to change for aging drivers.
How could the Hyperloop fit into this infrastructure? Autonomous cars will fill the gaps for aging people to commute to hyperloop hubs. But as mentioned in the video, people learning, adapting and trusting the new tech will be a major challenge.
A month ago there was alot of buzz about a 3D printing company that made models based off of Musk’s drawings. Articles had titles like: “3D Printing Startup Builds Hyperloop Model in 24 Hours”This was a bit misleading. If only they had actually made a working model of the hyperloop, then that would have advanced knowledge.
But still, it proved a very important thing, that new technology is so new that often we have dreams and ideas of how it can be used, but that are very different from how they might be used.
I actually thought they had printed a pod car or maybe printed a small track with pod.
The whole exercise of the hyperloop makes clear that 3D Printing technology will be used in they construction. I always imagined 3d printed pylons or arches for the loop.
I can imagine whoever prints a working model of the hyperloop, will have a significant edge of on others in building the actual loop. Actually, many organizations have put the technical specs of the hyperloop into computer modeling and aerodynamic software. That often eliminates actually building it…like organizations such as this one: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/518076/experts-raise-doubts-over-elon-musks-hyperloop-dream/ Still, “one big problem is getting enough capital together to demonstrate and build untested technology.”
Alas, I reached out on twitter to a technology, sustainability, goverment and transportation expert:
@BlakeA23 Any example of successful tech leap in trans similar in magnitude to hyperloop? DK. Evolution more than revolution, usually.
— Michael Cunningham (@PolicyThatWorks) September 30, 2013
@PolicyThatWorks Probably correct… I wonder if a test hyperloop will be in a developing countries first. Cheaper and more goverment help.
— Blake Anneberg (@BlakeA23) September 30, 2013
So it will be interesting how this could effect Hyperloop technology in Colorado.