The Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Spaceflight (WARR) student initiative from the Technical University of Munich recently won its second SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. Unlike the first competition in January, which handed out awards for speed and best overall design, the second competition focused solely on speed.
The Hyperloop is a futuristic mode of transport that levitates on its tracks to theoretically travel at speeds of up to 700mph in a near-vacuum. Dozens of companies, research groups and student teams are competing to produce a Hyperloop that will be adopted by Musk. He proposed the idea for the superfast transport system back in 2013, and launched a competition for its development in 2015. WARR students since been working on a pod that could one day travel from Munich to Berlin in 35 minutes.
WARR’s Hyperloop pod traveled at approximately 201 mph through the 0.8-mile tube test facility at the Los Angeles corporate premises of SpaceX. The team was able to reach that speed by constructed the pod entirely out of carbon fiber composites. The pods weighs about 154 lbs total.
SGL Group provided the WARR team with carbon fiber materials as well as expertise, resources and systems from its Lightweight and Application Center (LAC) in Meitingen, Germany. At the LAC, the students had the chance to work in close collaboration with engineers from various areas on developing and producing carbon components for the Hyperloop pod prototypes.
“With the Hyperloop pod, we have the chance to support an international project in the area of future mobility,” said Andreas Wüllner, head of the Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) business unit at SGL Group. “The project also reflects our strategy: Together with our partners, we aspire to develop comprehensive solutions for the requirements of the specific application.”