Hyperloop partners and construction start announced
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced the appointment of design and engineering firm, Dar Al-Handasah (founding member of the Dar Group), to assist in bringing the Abu Dhabi commercial system to reality. Dar Al-Handasah joins the project as design lead and as the latest investor in HyperloopTT. Dar Al-Handasah's team includes Dar Group members Perkins+Will (architects, USA), T.Y. Lin International (engineers, USA), GPO Group (engineers, Spain), and Currie & Brown (cost management consultants, UK). Construction of the Hyperloop commercial track as well as HyperloopTT's XO Square Innovation Center and Hyperloop Experience Center is targeted to begin in Q3 2019.
Earlier this year, HyperloopTT signed an MoU with Aldar Properties, which, when executed, will allow for the creation of a new HyperloopTT center including a full-scale commercial Hyperloop system, an XO Square Innovation Center, and Hyperloop Experience Center. The proposed site within Aldar's Seih Al Sderieh landbank is also located on the border of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, close to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport.
The Hyperloop system aims to bring airplane speeds to ground level. Passengers and cargo capsules will hover through a network of low-pressure tubes between cities, and travel time is expected to be transformed from hours to minutes.
Each capsule will hold between 28 and 40 passengers. The carrying capacity of the system is 160,000+ passengers per day, and 4,000 cargo shipments daily.
Passengers and goods will travel in pressurized capsules floating on a frictionless magnetic cushion within the tubes. Capsules are powered by a linear induction motor, electromagnetic propulsion, and embedded rechargeable batteries. As a result, the system is designed to be silent and emission-free.
Hyperloop operates using a passive magnetic levitation system called Inductrack. Magnets arranged in a Halbach array configuration enable passive levitation over an unpowered but conductive track. As capsules move through the low-pressure environment, they use low energy due to the reduced drag forces. The Inductrack system was tested and validated on a full-scale passive levitation track; HyperloopTT reportedly improved the technology and optimized it for a low-pressure environment through testing in its prototype.
In addition, HyperloopTT developed a new skin material for capsule safety called Vibranium. Using carbon-fiber and embedded sensors, the smart material is reportedly 8x stronger than aluminum and 10x stronger than steel alternatives, and transmits critical information regarding temperature, stability, integrity, and more, wirelessly and instantly. It is also much lighter in weight—roughly 5x less than steel and 1.5x less than aluminum—reducing energy output to propel the capsule.
The system is built around reducing friction and increasing efficiency. It consists of large tubes that will primarily be built on pylons, with some ground level and underground segments as needed. The elevated system results in lower cost of land acquisition, makes it impervious to weather conditions, resilient to earthquakes, eliminates the possibility of collision with road traffic, and will provide eco-opportunities.
The automated system will operate with advanced technologies that only require monitoring from humans. System elements will be in constant communication with each other and with operation control centers for near real-time response plans.
Utilizing a combination of existing and new technologies, the Hyperloop system will be both high-speed and resource-efficient, providing a safe and comfortable experience for passengers and cargo.