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Democratized Controls Architecture for the Development of Hyperloop Pod Management


Last Update: 1 month, 1 week ago










{"ops":[{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Main Idea"},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Cooper Hyperloop, Hyperloop IITB, Strathloop, "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"and "},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"HyperXite "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"are student hyperloop teams looking for a minimum of "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","italic":true},"insert":"5000 DAI "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"in funding in order to build a shared, hyperloop controls infrastructure. This would create a standard for the industry and make it much easier and faster for newer research organizations to work on more pressing hyperloop problems. The Hard Tech Fund is looking to help manage this project; they ran an open research symposium for hyperloop symposium at the end of last month ("},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/hyperloop.html"},"insert":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/hyperloop.html"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":") and are committed to a mission of transparent hyperloop development worldwide. Would you be interested in donating to this effort to help expand high speed, renewable transportation? "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Introduction "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Hyperloop is a transportation concept based on the idea of having a vacuum chamber that is used as the medium of transfer for a set of pods, each fitting 5 to 80 people ideally. The idea was first proposed back in 2013 with the advent of Elon Musk’s “Hyperloop Alpha” whitepaper, though it has existed in popular culture ever since the large scale use of pneumatic tubing in the late 1900s."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Yet, even nearly a decade after the writing of Elon Musk’s whitepaper, numerous feasibility studies, and a multitude of student and professional teams building hyperloop pod designs and structures for both the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition and infrastructural development around the world, there does not yet exist a standard controls system architecture for use across all hyperloop pods, forcing teams to spend thousands of dollars and, more importantly, thousands of hours to develop their own. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Why is this a problem?"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Hyperloop’s key usage is as a method of transportation for people, followed by a method of transportation for freight. For either existing infrastructural systems, a coherent, standardized set of controls architecture already exists; the automotive industry has the CANbus standard, and the railway industry has a standard set of coupler linkages per country they operate in. Not only does this standardization ensure that all controls systems lead to safe and secure applications, but they ensure that small companies and large companies alike can operate hyperloop pods on the same underlying infrastructure without fault."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"The SpaceX Hyperloop Competition pushes for thinking along the lines of safety and security by ensuring that its teams are building controls systems that have fail safes and scalable operational systems at both the design stage of the competition and when the top 20 teams in the design category actually attend the competition at the SpaceX headquarters. In doing so, it even provides recommendations of hardware needed to build these systems, as the issue of safety is already paramount at the competition level; an uncontrolled pod in a 1 mile vacuum chamber could implode. Last year, the recommended piece of technology was a Ubiquiti Networks branded wireless link. But, this does not go far enough, as the actual controls devices used can be either really cheap microcontroller devices rigged togethers, such, as Arduinos, or really expensive programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and the code needed to be written for both is largely different. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Thus, a gap emerges: teams with strong business development skillsets and great connections build sophisticated systems with PLCs, while teams with weaker business development skills and fewer connections in the industry develop cheaper controls systems."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Great, but doesn’t that self select who should be building hyperloops and who shouldn’t be? After all, hyperloop development is expensive and will only take place with a public-private partnership"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"More than the money, the time spent on controls setup and coding forces most hyperloop organizations that are starting out to focus on the bare minimum pod setup needed before working on solving new problems in the industry. While this would be fine in any other, well established transportation industry, this prevents strong growth in hyperloop, which depends on new engineers, business developers,and designers to bring new perspectives to solve new problems towards the development of a full scale hyperloop system. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"As such, there has been little innovative growth in the hyperloop world: problems around the power requirements of the scaling of vacuum systems, the airlock systems that would be needed in order to facilitate stations for unloading and loading, the method of multi-track routing, and the structural implements needed to support a steel tube have yet to truly be solved, or even thoroughly addressed. While larger hyperloop companies, such as Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are undoubtedly finding solutions to these problems, the task of building controls systems from scratch prevents many other, talented researchers with much less time and fewer personnel from being able to properly participate in the development of this new field. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Wonderful. But, what are you going to do about this?"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"The Hard Tech Fund is facilitating collaboration between Cooper Hyperloop, HyperXite, Hyperloop IITB, and Strathloop to develop a shared controls software architecture for hyperloop pods that can be scaled effectively across microcontroller and PLC setups. To do this, we aim to focus on connectivity to the core components of the hyperloop pod, which includes the linear induction motors (LIMs) used to move the pod forward, the eddy current and kinetic brakes used to stop the pod, the stability and suspension system used to keep the pod level, along with a strong network access panel implementation and secondary system setup across all contact points to ensure that communication to the pod is done easily and quickly, and a lack of communication can lead to a safe shutdown. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"We aim to complete this project by "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"January 2021"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":" to allow for ample preparation time and further system adjustment of the controls systems for upcoming hyperloop pod competitions, which look to include the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition, AZLoop’s Hyperloop Competition, and a European Hyperloop Competition. After this point, further maintenance will be completed yearly as part of the Hard Tech Fund Hyperloop Symposium to ensure that the software remains current and that no one team has the burden of completing all the controls work themselves."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"How much are you looking to raise? How will funds be used and distributed? "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"We are looking to raise a minimum of"},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":" 5,000 DAI"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":". The funds will be distributed equally amongst the teams and the Hard Tech Fund, with each team and the Hard Tech Fund receiving 25% of the money. Distribution will occur via Aragon DAO according to these rules. The funds received by the teams will be used to pay for a programmable logic controller, a set of microcontrollers, electronics equipment to allow for the transfer of signals from propulsion, braking devices to the logic controllers, and to partially subsidize salaries of team members who work half or full time on the controls development. All funding received by the Hard Tech Fund will go into subsidizing salaries of the team working on managing controls scaling. All transactions completed by the Hard Tech Fund with their share of the money thereafter will be publicly posted ETH transactions to ensure that there is full transparency in the use of funds by the organization. If more than 100,000 DAI is raised, Hard Tech Fund will set up community based voting to complete further breakup of its portion of the funds to more hyperloop teams."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"What is the future of this project after its completion? "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"We hope that this controls work will go be the beginnings of a standardized hyperloop controls system that is adopted by the NETT Council, the Government of Maharashtra, the Government of of Toulouse, and other municipalities looking to engage in hyperloop specific work, and we look for them and their corporate partners to be attendees at the next Hyperloop Symposium to help line up that development. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"More importantly, we hope this work cuts development time for newer hyperloop teams with regards to pod development, and pushes them to focus on harder, more pressing issues of hyperloop scalability, especially relating to the vacuums. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Lastly, if hyperloop at scale does turn out to be too infeasible even after further development work, we hope that the structure of collaborative editing that we have run through our Hyperloop Symposium and this fair division of funds and human resources of development will endure into further infrastructure projects. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Who are the participating organizations? "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Cooper Hyperloop, HyperXite, Strathloop, "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"and "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":"Hyperloop IITB "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"are three university-based hyperloop organizations that are working together on this initiative. They have all published papers on the work that their teams have completed or aim to complete, with HyperXite and Hyperloop IITB focused on pod design and Strathloop focusing on energy and airlock scalability, which were all submitted to the Hard Tech Fund Hyperloop Symposium on Aug 22-23 and 29-30. You can view the reviews for papers on Weekend 1 here ("},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/symposium1.html"},"insert":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/symposium1.html"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":") and weekend 2 here ("},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/symposium2.html"},"insert":"https://www.hardtechfund.com/symposium2.html"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"). Papers will be available on the site shortly."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://cooperalumni.org/the-cooper-hyperloop/"},"insert":"Cooper Hyperloop"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"The Cooper Hyperloop team was founded in 2018 as an extracurricular club for students of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. It is an undergraduate student-led team currently composed of 16 hard working Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical engineers. Cooper Hyperloop’s goal is to design a scalable and rugged and safe prototype of a Hyperloop pod in order to spur research and development in this revolutionary method of transportation. Since 2018 the team has expanded and been integrated into Cooper Unions’s curriculum, allowing members to receive course credit for their efforts. "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"In 2019 The team competed in SpaceX’s Hyperloop competition IV and placed in the top 40 teams globally. In 2020 the Cooper Hyperloop participated in the Hard Tech Fund’s Symposium. "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://www.hyperxite.com/"},"insert":"HyperXite"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"HyperXite has been established since SpaceX Hyperloop Competition was first introduced in 2015. HyperXite is a student-led team that participates in the Hyperloop competition. Through researching and developing prototypes, we aim to revolutionize the transportation industry at a low cost, while ensuring the safety, health and welfare of the public. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"HyperXite has competed in the past four Spacex Hyperloop Pod Competitions."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"In Competition I, HyperXite was one of the semifinalists and placed fifth for their overall design worldwide. Additionally, the HyperXite pod was one of the only air levitated pods to be tested within the Hyperloop itself during Competition II and placed in the top 6. In the past two competitions, HyperXite was one of the top 22 finalists to attend competition in Hawthorne, CA."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Our team, currently consisting of 20 members, is working to research, design, build, and validate a small-scale pod to be tested on the team’s own test track."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Because of the delayed competition this year, our funding has considerably decreased. With the help of this grant, we are hoping to reach our goal of manufacturing a mini prototype pod that we would be able to test and develop throughout the school year."},{"insert":"\n\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"http://strathloop.com/"},"insert":"Strathloop"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Strathloop was founded in October 2018 within the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Currently, the team of 90 students is researching and developing a series of Hyperloop systems feasibility projects, along with other projects focusing on assessing and developing the infrastructure required to make Hyperloop possible. "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Over the coming University session, Strathloop plans to design and manufacture a fully functional Hyperloop pod prototype for entry into the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Control Systems design will be right at the heart of the pod prototype project. With current COVID-19 restrictions, control systems have been the only sub-team able to continue its physical testing plan throughout the summer months. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Therefore, grant funding would be a useful asset to this development in collaboration with the other teams in our consortium to develop a system architecture that is useful not only for the pod prototype, but for the Hyperloop concept as a whole."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://www.insti.app/org/hyperloop-iitb"},"insert":"Hyperloop IITB"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Hyperloop IITB was established in Sept. 2019 at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India with the vision to participate in the SpaceX hyperloop pod competition and promote research and interest in the Hyperloop technology within the student community."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"The team, currently, consists of 50 students working in different subsystems- Aerodynamics, Dynamics and Levitation, Controls and Power, Propulsion, Structure, Marketing and Design- to build a small scale prototype of the Hyperloop pod. Our team, though being relatively new, has proved it’s mettle in competitions like Arizona desert loop competition and the Inter IIT Design conclave. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Due to the uncertainty of the final dates of the competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team is low on funds. The factor of being a new team just adds to the challenge.With this grant, we hope to work at a greater pace to develop the small scale model for test run as soon as possible."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"background":"transparent","color":"#1155cc","link":"https://hardtechfund.com/"},"insert":"Hard Tech Fund"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000","bold":true},"insert":": "},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Hard Tech Fund was started in 2019 at UC Davis as a way to turn projects coming out of Oneloop, Davis' Hyperloop Team, into products and services in order to help spur full hyperloop development in the Sacramento Valley. In fact, it was even part of the team's whitepaper for future development, which was shared with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and the UC Davis Chancellor, Gary May."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"In order to prove that the team could be given money to help fund these new startups, Hard Tech Fund started a summer program from June to August of 2019 to help any team working on sustainability related ideas due to the demand for a hands-on, product focused incubator at UC Davis. This program ended with a demo day at the Blockchain Center in San Francisco and was attended by seed and pre-seed investment groups. Of the 3 teams who participated in Hard Tech Fund, 1 team went on to be provided further resources for further development."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"Seeing a greater need for sustainability product development programs at UC Davis, Hard Tech Fund created a student specific organization called Hard Tech Campus, which is a UC Davis student club, and refocused on hyperloop development to investigate how to best help existing teams and to work towards the ideals set up by the Oneloop whitepaper, which led to the creation of this symposium."},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#000000"},"insert":"The team behind Hard Tech Fund is multidisciplinary. Blake Anneberg, Director of Outreach, is the founder of InTheHyperloop, the best and only hyperlooop-specific YouTube channel, and the Colorado Hyperloop Coalition. Linda Huang, Director of Design, is a founding employee and Lead Designer at Ethicli, a browser extension to help consumers by online ethically. Kirk McGregor, Director of New Initiatives, is an independent grant writer working on high technology projects, such as high performance computing (HPC), x-ray technology, and quantum computation. Samarth Sandeep, President, is currently the founder of Iff, a biomaterial design company, and previously served as the Business Team Director at Oneloop. "},{"insert":"\n\n\n"}]}

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