IIT Madras Avishkar Team qualify for European Hyperloop Week

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pod design by IIT Madras Avishkar Team
pod design by IIT Madras Avishkar Team
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CHENNAI (Metro Rail News): Team Avishkar, consisting of 40 students from IIT Madras, has qualified for the European Hyperloop Week. This international event will be held from 19 to 25 July this year at Valencia in Spain.

Team Avishkar became the only team from Asia to qualify for the finals of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019, a global contest organised by Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX. Out of more than 1,600 teams participating in this prestigious event, Team Avishkar was among the Top 21.

The team earned its place in this international event because of the self-propelled, autonomous hyperloop pod developed by it which is capable of reaching high speed. Team Avishkar is the student team from Centre for Innovation (CFI), IIT-Madras.

Hyperloop is a new revolutionary mode of transportation where a high-speed train travels in a near-vacuum tube. The reduced air resistance allows the capsule inside the tube to reach speeds of more than 1000 km/h which drastically reduces travel journey time. It was Tesla founder Elon Musk who proposed the idea of Hyperloop in 2013 through a white paper on ‘Hyperloop Alpha’.

Team Avishkar is working on a detailed study of energy needs, costs, demand and other aspects of a business model for a Hyperloop corridor between Bangalore and Chennai to assess the economic feasibility of the idea in India. Through their upgraded prototype, the team estimates that the travel time between Bangalore and Chennai can be reduced to just half an hour compared to six hours it takes today by car or train.

Despite the challenges from the pandemic and the lockdowns, the team of 40 students collaborated for the development of the Hyperloop pod from their homes to completely revamp the pod’s sub-systems with scalable and efficient technologies. In the past few months, they have manufactured a Hyperloop Pod Prototype and tested the novel technology.

Kishan Thakkar, Team Avishkar Lead and Fourth Year Student, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “Creating infrastructure such as tubes and pylons take about 70 percent of the total budget of a Hyperloop corridor. Our research is focused mainly on reducing the cost of this infrastructure and adapting the Hyperloop to the needs of the Indian subcontinent. The team is truly pushing the frontiers of this technology to bring a sustainable future.”

“Our research has yielded technological breakthroughs such as the linear induction motor for propulsion, a proprietary levitation technology, and contactless magnetic braking system,” said Neel Balar, Team Avishkar lead and third-year student at the IIT’s Department of Engineering Design. “Looking beyond the pod, the team is also focusing efforts on the design of the Hyperloop’s infrastructure,” he added.

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