## Hyperloop

In ancient days, we used horses or other animals to travel as rides. But with the development of technology, our transportation system also developed. Nowadays, if we want to go somewhere, we have four means of transportation and we have to choose one. These are vehicles on roads, ships on water, airplanes in the air, and trains on railway tracks. But now we are moving towards the fifth mode of transportation which is known as Hyperloop. Hope you have heard about it and have some knowledge about Hyperloop. If not, then let's know everything about it like what is Hyperloop and how does it work? Advantages and disadvantages of Hyperloop, companies working on it, and much more.

## Why do we need the Hyperloop Technology?

This question may arise in your mind if we already have four modes of transportation then why do we need a fifth mode of transportation? Before knowing about Hyperloop, let us have some idea about why do we need Hyperloop? Actually, currently, we use cars, buses, trains, ships, and airplanes to travel from one place to another, these means of transportation have limitations to speed due to friction and air drag. These transportation systems also require fuel which causes pollution. Their cost is also high due to maintenance, To overcome all of these problems, the concept of the Hyperloop was introduced. Hope you know how friction and air drag limit the speed of our transportation, if not then let us explain it.

## How do friction and air drag limit our transportation's speed?

### Effect of friction on the speed of transport

The force that prevents one solid object from moving on another solid object is called friction. There are four different types of friction: rolling, sliding, static, and fluid friction. Scientists claim that when microscopic bumps on surfaces rub against each other, the interaction between them causes friction. It is challenging for surfaces to slide over each other because of the way the bumps on each surface bend and exert force on each other. Friction is a constant because it always acts in the direction opposite to the direction an object is moving or attempting to move. As a result, friction always slows down the speed of a moving object.

### Effect of air drag on the speed of transport

The front of an object is pushed more forcefully by air than the back. This difference produces a reverse force known as pressure drag. As a vehicle's speed increases, its drag generally becomes stronger. When the speed of the vehicle doubles, it has to face twice as fast wind, causing drag to quadruple. As a result, drag limits the practical speed of the vehicle.

## How Hyperloop Technology is different from other modes of transportation?

As we have learned the existing methods of transportation have speed limits due to air drag and friction, so to overcome this, hyperloop technology has been introduced which will use a vacuum tube that will have a negligible amount of air and friction, therefore it will provide more speed than other mode of transports. We have also discussed current transportation running on fuel which causes pollution, but the Hyperloop will run on electricity under a vacuum tube, which will not cause pollution. That was a brief overview of Hyperloop compared to other forms of transportation, now let's learn about Hyperloop in detail.

## Overview of Hyperloop

Hyperloop is a transportation system similar to a high-speed train but different in speed and construction. Similar to other trains hyperloop trains can also be used for public and freight transport. The main reason why Hyperloop is famous is its supersonic speed and futuristic transportation concept that consists of four essential elements: tube, pod, solar panels, and terminal. A pod structured like a capsule that would carry passengers supported by air bearings would move in a low-pressure environment inside a tube made of steel and act as a vacuum. This vacuum will get energy from solar panels installed on the surface. The terminal will handle the arrival and departure of pods. Let us learn about tubes, pods, solar panels, and terminals in detail:

### Tube

This section will be the outer part of the Hyperloop and will be made of stainless steel, inside this tube the pod travels at a very high speed. The part of the track present inside this tube is completely made of magnets and similarly, the lower part of the pod is also made of magnets due to which the pod will travel in the air inside the tube and will not touch the track of the tube.

#### Technology used to move a pod at faster speed inside tube

If the track part of the tube is the North Pole and the bottom part of the pod is also the North Pole, then in this scenario if we move the pods both poles repel each other. Because they do not touch each other, there will be no friction so the pod will move at the fastest speed without touching the tube. About 90% of the air inside the tube is expelled out and a vacuum (not a complete vacuum) is created, due to which there will be no air drag, so the pod moves very fast.

Magnetic Poles Behaviour: If two magnets with similar poles, such as north-north or south-south, are brought together, they will repel each other, the same concept used to keep the pods of a Hyperloop train in the air.

The length of any given tube can be 2000 kilometers or more, depending on which two cities or states the Hyperloop train serves.

### Pod

A pod is as big as a train compartment but its speed is much higher, it can take passengers to their destination at a speed of up to 1200km/hr. People can sit inside the Pod as per its capacity, ranging from 28 to 40 people. Just as there are seats in an airplane, similarly this Pod of Hyperloop also has seats.

Friction is required to put the break in any vehicle so that it can be stopped but as the pod moves at high speed in the air inside the tube, there is no direct contact between the track and the pod that's why there are fans installed in the front and back of the Pod. When we need to stop the pod at its destination then these fans work as a break and help to stop the pod. When the Pod runs forward, this fan rotates clockwise and when the Pod has to be stopped, these fans start rotating reverse, creating friction so that the Pod can stop.

### Solar Panel

It is installed on top of the tube which provides energy to the pod and the tube, now because much energy is not required to push the pod forward, hence solar energy is sufficient for it. During the day, the Pod is supplied with energy from the Solar Panel, and at night the Pod is supplied with energy from the Battery.

### Terminal

The stations of the hyperloop trains will be known as terminals. As trains stop at stations similarly hyperloop trains will stop at terminals,  from here the passengers can easily board and disembark the pods and can also keep their essential luggage inside and disembark.

## How do Hyperloop Trains operate?

There are four basic requirements for running a Hyperloop train: propelling, levitation, guidance, and electricity. Propelling technology is used to move the train forward. When a train runs at its fastest speed it creates a large amount of mechanical friction which can cause fire. In such a situation, the process of running the train in the air with the help of magnets to avoid friction and fire is called levitation. The process of guiding the train to run in the right direction and on the right track after successful levitation is known as guidance. Electricity is required to run a train and it is used as a source of power. Let us know about all this in detail:

Before we learn about these processes, we must understand the concept of superconducting magnets. So let us first learn about superconducting magnets.

### Superconducting magnet

For successful levitation, we need a strong magnetic field, the stronger the magnetic field the stronger we will get the lifting and propelling force which will provide more speed to the train. We prefer to use superconducting magnets instead of electro-magnets in Hyperloop trains due to heat limitations. If more than a limit of heat is generated in an electromagnet, it will fail. But in the case of superconducting magnets, there are no such limitations. In superconducting magnets, we keep the temperature of the conductors used, below their critical temperature. The resistance of these conductors is also zero. Therefore, heavy current can easily flow through these conductors without any resistance.

Since the resistance of the conductors used in superconducting magnets is zero, if we once charge these magnets with the help of exciting coils then the short-circuit coil in these magnets can store that charge forever and We don't need to charge them again. The DC current trapped in the superconducting coil is known as circulating DC current which provides a strong magnetic field. The value of that current is about 700 kilowatts which is very intense, this intense electric current also generates a lot of heat. Therefore liquid helium coolant is added to this magnet to maintain its superconducting phase. When liquid helium absorbs this amount of heat, it vaporizes. We add a helium compressor to the coolant to turn these vapors into liquid again.

Since the conductors used in superconducting magnets have zero resistance and strong electric current flows through them, it is sensitive to heat and therefore can observe heat from the environment. That's why we place superconducting magnets in a radiation shield to protect them from environmental heat. But there is also a problem that the conductors used in superconducting magnets generate an eddy current in the radiation shield, which generates heat in the radiation shield. To avoid this heat we add liquid nitrogen coolant to the radiation shield. Now our superconducting magnet is ready to use. Now we move forward to drive the train.

### Propelling

Superconducting magnets provide a strong magnetic field in their superconducting phase. We combine four superconducting magnets into a radiation shield and connect it to the coolant, forming a set. We add several such sets on both sides of the train. Since the superconducting magnet has sufficient current it does not require electricity but the coolant attached to it requires electricity which is provided by solar panels attached to the steel tube. After assembling the superconducting magnets on the train, our job is now to move the train forward, which is known as propelling.

To run the train we connect many electromagnets in a series and connect them to the track of the tube and the eight-shaped coils attached to them. These magnets are responsible for propelling the train hence they are also known as propelling coils. We supply electricity in these coils in such a way that if one coil will work as the north pole then the other coil will work as the south pole. In electromagnets, we can change the magnetic field, like we can change the north pole to the south pole and vice versa, but cannot do so in superconducting magnets. We change the poles of the electromagnet in such a way that if the south pole of the electromagnet is in front of the south pole of the superconducting magnet and the north pole of the electromagnet is in front of the north pole of the superconducting magnet. In this scenario, the south pole of the electromagnet repels the south pole of the superconducting magnet and the north pole of the electromagnet repels the north pole of the superconducting magnet. But the opposite pole of the track is located at the edge and attracts the opposite pole of the superconducting magnet and the net force is applied in the forward direction hence the hyperloop train moves in the forward direction, this process is known as propelling.

### Levitation

In this step, we use eight-shaped coils for magnetic levitation on both sides of the track. As we know, according to Faraday's law, when a coil is placed in a magnetic field, a force is experienced on it. For example, let us make a circuit with coils, then place a permanent magnet between the coils and rotate it which creates a magnetic field. Magnetic lines induced by the magnetic field will be generated such that they cross the coil which will induce emf in the coil. We also apply it to Hyperloop trains for successful magnetic levitation. Let us understand the process of levitation of a hyperloop train.

Let us consider superconducting magnets with north and south poles attached to the train work as one big magnet. When these magnets move in a forward direction the magnetic lines of magnets will cross the eight-shaped coils and as per Faraday's law, an emf will be induced in opposite directions on both the loops of the coils. Hence the net emf of the coil will be zero. Now if we set the magnet at the bottom such that the magneting lines pass through the lower loop. In this scenario, more emf will be induced in the lower loop of the coil than in the upper loop of the coil. Due to this, electric current will flow in the coil. When current flows through the coils, poles will be produced in the coils such that the coil pole and the pole of the magnet attached to the train will be identical and hence they will repel each other which causes levitation of the train. After successful levitation of the train, the magnet will come to the central part of the coil and the emf of the coil will reduce and the magnet will become balanced.

There is also an issue that when the train runs slowly, very little EMF will be generated in the eight-shaped coils because the magnetic lines will cross these coils very slowly. So hyperloop trains don't levitate in the beginning. To overcome this situation, when the train starts moving or when we stop the train, we use tires in these trains. When a train successfully levitates and moves at its own speed, it will hide its tires inside itself like an airplane.

### Guidance

The train must be in the center of the tube for the train to run smoothly, if the train deviates from the center at such a high speed then some bad incident can happen. The process of steering the train to the center is called guidance. To do this we use a simple technique, we connect eight-shaped coils to both sides of the track via interconnecting coils. When the train runs in a balanced position (at the center) equal EMF is induced on the coils on both sides and no current flows through the interconnecting coils.

Suppose the train deviates slightly to the right, then in such a situation different EMFs will be induced in the coils on both sides, due to which current will flow through the connecting coils, and as a result, more stress will be experienced by lower loops of coils and poles of the magnet. More current will flow from the right side and its magnetic pole will become stronger, less current will flow from the left side and its magnetic pole will become weaker. In such a situation, the poles of the coils repel the poles of the magnet attached to the train, hence the magnet will again move towards the center because no current will flow in the interconnecting coils and hence the train will move towards the center.

### Electricity

Solar panels are installed on top of the tube to generate electricity. One coil will be connected to the ground below the train and the other coil will be connected inside the train. When electricity is supplied to the ground coil through the solar panel, it generates a magnetic field and that magnetic field passes through the coil inside the train which generates electricity supply in the train.

Hyperloop Technology provides various advantages over other modes of transportation:

### Speed

Since there is negligible air drag and friction, Hyperloop trains provide extremely high speeds of transportation that are twice as fast as aircraft, three times faster than high-speed rail, and ten times faster than conventional rail. and hence travel time is reduced.

### Lower power consumption

Hyperloop trains require very little electricity to run, so, electricity is supplied through solar panels during the day and through batteries at night. Hyperloop trains consume very little energy even for long-distance travel.

### Low-cost transportation

Since the Hyperloop train provides high speed and takes less time to travel long distances, it consumes very little power, hence its cost is also very low.

### Safe to travel in all weather

As the pod runs inside the tube hence outer weather conditions do not affect it.

## Drawbacks of Hyperloop Tecchnology

Hyperloop technology has the following drawbacks:

Passengers may feel dizzy due to vibrations and shocks because of the fast motion of the capsule.

This system will require substantial initial investment. The longer vacuum chamber manufacturing process requires more technical skills. Moreover, it is dangerous and expensive to maintain.

Concerns will arise about land use rights when project development begins.

Since the pods will operate inside a near-vacuum tube, focusing on the evacuation of passengers will be a serious concern if an accident occurs during the journey.

Since the Hyperloop technology uses steel for the tube, it expands and changes shape with changes in outside temperature. This could destroy the track of Hyperloop technology. This should be considered while designing the system based on the environment of the location where it is being deployed.

During the construction of the track, a large number of trees will be cut which will cause harm to the environment.

## Companies were working on Hyperloop worldwide but stopped working on this

### Arrivo

Arrivo, a US-based company was working on hyperloop technology but stopped working on this project in November 2017 in favor of maglev transportation.

### Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, a US-based company was working on Hyperloop technology but ended the development of passenger travel in February 2022 to focus on freight.

### Nevomo

Nevomo, a Poland-based company that was working on Hyperloop technology, in 2019  shifted the focus back to MagRail but continued to be active in the Hyperloop ecosystem, such as in the Hyperloop Association. Named Hyper Poland as of November 2020

## Companies actively working on Hyperloop Technology worldwide

Casic a China-based company, Delft Hyperloop a Netherlands-based company, DGWHyperloop an India-based company, Hardt Global Mobility a Netherlands-based company, Hyperloop Italia an Italy-based company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies a US-based company, Swispod Technologies a Switzwerland-based company, Transpod a Canada, France based company and Zeleros a Spain based company are actively working on Hyperloop Technology.

## Countries To Launch Hyperloop Trains

The following countries are planning to launch Hyperloop trains:
• China
• France
• Spain
• Netherlands
• Saudi Arabia
• Kuwait
• United States
• UAE
• Germany
• India
• Korea
• Indonesia
• Slovakia
• Czech Republic
• Ukraine

## Passenger's safety in Hyperloop train

Because of magnetic field lines of magnets and coil attached to the pod, a question regarding the safety of passengers was raised. So the answer to this is passengers inside the pods are completely safe. To provide protection from the magnetic field, both sides of the pod will be covered by a magnetic shield which prevents the magnetic field.