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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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All A&M teams advance to Hyperloop competition

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Photo by Sydney Farris

Texas A&M will host the Hyperloop design competition, which will feature over 1,400 participating teams from academia and industry.

Elon Musk’s dream of sending passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes could be made a reality by Texas A&M students, as all six A&M teams advanced to an international design competition to be held on campus in January. 

The Hyperloop concept — a brainchild of SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk — hopes to revolutionize transportation between cities. A tube with near-vacuum pressure will hold passenger and cargo “pods” that travel over 700 miles per hour. 

Over 1,400 teams from academia and industry registered to compete in the January competition, but only about 300 — including the six from Texas A&M — were invited after a SpaceX preliminary design review whittled down the submissions. 

“There was a fierce competition that took place [for the] preliminary briefing,” said Adonios Karpetis, associate professor of aerospace engineering and faculty advisor for one of the A&M teams.  “The teams got together and they created 30 slides based on their design.” 

Moble Benedict, assistant professor of aerospace engineering and faculty advisor with Karpetis, said the design course is coming to an end, but the students will continue working to finalize the design and prepare the presentation. 

“We have to submit the final design report on the 22nd of January, a comprehensive report that covers the detailed design of the pod,” Benedict said. “Then we have the design week-end which is the end of January, [where] six students will be presenting.” 

Karpetis said the hyperloop concept shares many aspects with challenges commonly seen in the aerospace industry. Karpetis said the hyperloop challenge calls for a pod to travel close to the speed of sound in an atmosphere that has a density similar to that of the atmosphere at 100,000 feet — challenges often found in the design of high-performance, high-altitude aircraft. 

“This combination is all aerodynamics, all aerospace,” Karpetis said. “So there is a clear relevance to what we do in aerospace. We pride ourselves on doing state-of-the-art and this a really state-of-the-art, futuristic concept.”

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