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Aerodynamic design and analysis of a hyperloop vehicle

Academic lead
Carl Gilkeson​, Mech Eng
David Connolly​, Civil Eng
Project themes
Energy and Transport

Hyperloop is a newly proposed mode of transportation where vehicles move within a tube held at vacuum-type conditions at speeds of up to 1200km/h.  Currently, the most well-known embodiment of Hyperloop is that proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, and presents a step-change in transport engineering, allowing people to move vast distances in short periods of time.  However, the infancy of the technology means there are many unknowns regarding the aerodynamic behaviour of Hyperloop vehicles confined within low-pressure environments.  These must be resolved before a fully-functioning prototype is tested with passengers. This project will address these challenges through the application of CFD modelling of Hyperloop vehicles moving inside tubes.  The methods will be used to explore geometric parameters of such vehicles to optimise the relationship between vehicle speed and energy consumption.  Considering the global reach of this research, the project may require presenting at international conferences.