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Hyperloop One Reveals Test Track Progress (computerworld.com.au) 223

Hyperloop One has released the first photographs of its "proof of concept" test track near Las Vegas, Nevada, and there's now also a couple short videos online. Slashdot reader angry tapir quotes Computerworld: The company revealed its progress on Tuesday at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai, sharing pictures and footage of its Nevada development site dubbed "DevLoop." Taking Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept of a levitating pod in a low-pressure tube, Hyperloop One has developed what is so far the only full-scale, full-system Hyperloop test site...and says it plans to test the entire apparatus this year.
In addition, Investopedia reports that Hyperloop One has now also signed letter of intent agreements to investigate the feasibility of building more hyperloop systems in Finland and the Netherlands.
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Hyperloop One Reveals Test Track Progress

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  • Looking at photos of the test track, you have to wonder how the hell do you get out if something goes wrong?

    What happens if there is a sudden "repressurization"? Seems to me that would be like hitting a brick wall at the speeds they are talking about.

    What if the motive element fails and the pod comes to a halt? There you are, stuck in a sealed tube.

    • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @12:43PM (#54023163)

      Looking at photos of the test track, you have to wonder how the hell do you get out if something goes wrong?

      You cut the bodies out with the Jaws of Life and vacuum up the remains with a ShopVac.

      -

      What happens if there is a sudden "repressurization"?

      You cut the bodies out with the Jaws of Life and vacuum up the remains with a ShopVac.

      -

      What if the motive element fails and the pod comes to a halt? There you are, stuck in a sealed tube.

      You cut the bodies out with the Jaws of Life and cart them away on gurneys.

      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        Nice.

      • Re:Emergencies? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2017 @02:52PM (#54023889)

        You are probably not far off

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • Re:Emergencies? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @12:44PM (#54023167)

      How do you get out of an airplane when something goes wrong ?

      • by haruchai ( 17472 )

        How do you get out of an airplane when something goes wrong ?

        Parachute or ejection seat for the important people.

        • Re:Emergencies? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @12:56PM (#54023255)

          Sure, try jumping out with a parachute at 30K feet from a jetliner running 550 knots. I did see one design for a commercial passenger jet with ejectable modules for all passengers. A ticket in something like that from NY to LA would run about 50 thousand dollars. Considering air travel is safer than any form of land travel on a passenger mile basis I guess they decided to forgo the expense.

          • I did see one design for a commercial passenger jet with ejectable modules for all passengers. A ticket in something like that from NY to LA would run about 50 thousand dollars.

            Don't do it individually, put the whole cabin on parachutes.

            This guy has an update on that old idea with rear-exit and rocket-assisted landing:
            https://www.liveleak.com/view?... [liveleak.com]

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        Airplanes don't fly through solid steel tubes that have to be able to withstand massive amounts of pressure from a vacuum. There is no recovery from accidents if Hyperloop was to get off the ground, and to be honest I don't believe this project will work. Thunderf00t [youtube.com] has done some validation of this project, or should I say shown major failure points.

        Interesting ideas don't always pan out.

        • Re:Emergencies? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @01:29PM (#54023419) Homepage

          ...able to withstand massive amounts of pressure from a vacuum.

          I never cease to be amazed how many people think vacuum exerts a massive amount of pressure; Hollywood has a *LOT* to answer for for all those ridiculous explosive decompression scenes. The pressure between hard vacuum and atmosphere at sea level is exactly 1 atmosphere; you can get more pressure differential in a typical swimming pool. There's a reason spacecraft are about as rigid as a tin can and submarines are built out of many tonnes of steel and titanium, and it's that one has to deal with some pressure and the other... doesn't. If anything, the tube of the hyperloop is likely to be under more stress from the capilliary action of the vehicles (are we going with rail terminology and calling them "cars" or something else?) and bowshock in the less than perfect vacuum then pressure from the external atmosphere.

          • by Teun ( 17872 )
            I agree with you vacuum is not a particular big pressure differential to overcome.
            But it would be a rather deep pool to get an similar differential, 1 atmosphere/bar (14.5 psi) is equivalent to 10 meters (30 ft) of water depth.
            If this thing gets build in a place like The Netherlands it would no doubt be an underground tube and the forces of the overbearing soil and water are greater than the vacuum.
            In such a construction most of the tube would be a regular concrete structure with something thin made of s
            • How much energy does it take to create the vacuum? That is what the chamber is storing, unless you somehow believe that energy conservation does not exist. It is not just the downward pressure of the atmosphere, as a basic physics class can teach you.

              To argue your point you must completely deny basic physics principles, so how does the Hyperloop do this exactly? If you want to state that well established principles of physics are wrong, I demand you provide proof.

          • Re:Emergencies? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @01:47PM (#54023505)

            I never cease to be amazed how many people think vacuum exerts a massive amount of pressure; Hollywood has a *LOT* to answer for for all those ridiculous explosive decompression scenes.

            In space the pressure is an outward force, in atmosphere it's an inward force.

            Vacuum can create the exertion a LOT of pressure. Try the old experiment where you lay a ruler hanging halfway off of a table and cover the end on the table with a sheet of newspaper. Now bang on the end of the ruler that's off the table and see what happens. The ruler stays right where it is because the pressure of the air against the newspaper is actually very significant. Figure 15lbs per sq inch on a 20"x20" sheet of paper (400 sq inches) is 6000 lbs.

            People who haven't seen this demonstration are always shocked when the ruler doesn't fly up and take the newspaper with it. You're much more likely to break the ruler off at the edge of the table. Try it if you don't believe me.

            Or if you're lazy, watch a demonstration here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

            I worked with high vacuum quite a bit in my younger days and the forces involved can be immense. The forces involved with the hyperloop are really quite insane and the possibility of an accident is very, very high. The results could be catastrophic to say the least.

            • In space the pressure is an outward force, in atmosphere it's an inward force.

              For steel, the compressive and tensile strengths are similar, so it doesn't really matter.

              • In space the pressure is an outward force, in atmosphere it's an inward force.

                For steel, the compressive and tensile strengths are similar, so it doesn't really matter.

                Yes it does matter, it is not as simple as the failure stress.

                Under compression, as the vacuum tube will be, the structure can buckle. What starts off as a small variation from the round shape (even the minutest manufacturing departure from a pure circle) causes a further small distortion which escalates by positive feedback, even though the material is at first still well within its failure limit (and even within its elastic limit). Then, as the distortion gets more and more, the material eventually reac

            • -1, physically incorrect description of phenomenon

              What is being demonstrated in that video is drag, not air pressure. If you pushed the ruler down slowly the ruler does not break since drag force is a function of velocity squared.

              Note that the air pressure on the bottom of the sheet of paper is the same as on the top.

            • "The forces involved with the hyperloop are really quite insane and the possibility of an accident is very, very high."

              We do build ships that draw 10 or 15 meters without the hull collapsing (As long as they don't run into a rock). And submarines. And the pipes used in big hydroelectric dams are often subjected to much greater (albeit high pressure on the inside, not outside) pressure differentials. So the tubes are probably doable.

              OTOH, what happens if the tube develops a crease because of an earthquake

              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                You (and everyone else commenting on this thread) should actually read the design document before commenting (it never ceases me how many people want to pontificate about it without ever having read the bloody design document itself). Earthquakes take up a good bit of the document (they even do FEM sims). As per the specs in Hyperloop Alpha, the tube is not rigidly mounted to the supports; it's mounted to multiaxis dampers that adjust to maintain the tube in the same place. The tube is also floated (allo

              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                Also, for the record, the total loss of one entire would 16x the gravity-related bending (double the length, and peak deformation is generally related to the unsupported length to the fourth power). But given that span lengths are designed so that there is no noticeable jolting at all between spans, 16x of "almost nothing" does not equal "catastrophe". Air bearings have highly nonlinear responses to changes in distance from the surface, and the bearings themselves are mounted on shock absorbers.

            • Re:Emergencies? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @12:14AM (#54026675)
              The energy from pressurization is pressure * volume. At a 2.23m diameter (3.906 m^2 cross-sectional area), every km of tube pumped to 95% vacuum represents 376 MJ of energy. With an estimated 500 miles of tube, this represents 188 GJ, or about as much energy as 45 tons of TNT. Granted it's spread out over 500 km so is equivalent to about 82 grams of TNT per meter. That's not an insubstantial amount of energy [youtu.be]. But I think a steel tube could be designed to withstand it.

              The problem is what happens when a train car traveling 700 mph hits a section of tube damaged by a localized implosion. If a section of tube were somehow weakened, it would fail when the stresses it experienced were highest. This would probably be right when the first car of a train passed it. The weakened section fails inward, and the following train cars hit it at 700 mph.

              Yes we fly 500+ mph in planes every day. But those planes don't fly a few cm from things that can suddenly pop out and strike the plane.
              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                You know what also has the energy of 45 tonnes of TNT? A moderate sized (~10t) pine tree. Comparing total energies in something to TNT is only relevant if you're looking at the concentrated and instantaneous release of energy, neither of which are applicable to a vacuum pipeline. Even the supersonic shocks take several minutes to reach each end, let alone total pressure equalization, which even if there was no wall drag at doesn't proceed faster than the speed of sound.

                The problem is what happens when a tr

          • ...able to withstand massive amounts of pressure from a vacuum.

            I never cease to be amazed how many people think vacuum exerts a massive amount of pressure

            I think his point was that there is a tube to escape out of, irrespective of how "massive" or otherwise the pressure is.

          • by Gorobei ( 127755 )

            There's a reason spacecraft are about as rigid as a tin can and submarines are built out of many tonnes of steel and titanium, and it's that one has to deal with some pressure and the other... doesn't.

            Actually, the reason is a bit different: round things with excess pressure on the inside respond by getting more round and keeping their shape (think latex balloons being inflated;) round things with excess pressure on the outside respond by getting more oval/ flattish and losing their shape

            So, for negative pressure things, you have to design them to avoid collapse, not true for positive pressure things. A spacecraft hull (say a dime's thickness of aluminum) can easily handle 5 atmos of pressure differentia

          • If you wish to make such an asinine claim back it up with science. I gave a link to a guy who did all of the science and demonstrates the power required to create a vacuum.. Mythbusters did a similar episode again showing the _SCIENCE_ behind the energy required to create a vacuum.

            Will you next attempt to claim that conversation of energy is wrong?

          • Yes, vacuums DO exert a massive amount of pressure, or rather our atmosphere does and because there's no counter-balance in a vacuum that pressure is fully felt. The numbers are easy to get: about 14.7 pounds per square inch at sea level. That means about 15 pounds of force for every square inch of material, which is not a large area. You can throw a little math at something to figure out the total force a given area takes.

            Also it turns out vacuum pressure is something that companies have to worry about, so

        • Airplanes don't fly through solid steel tubes that have to be able to withstand massive amounts of pressure from a vacuum

          Correct, but hyperloop pods don't suck birds into their engines. My point was not to claim that planes and hyperloop pods are identical, just that planes are also very limited in the way they can recover from accidents mid-flight, yet that hasn't stopped people from using them.

        • massive amounts of pressure from a vacuum.

          It's not that much pressure.

        • Since the tube at negative pressure with respect to ambient, most panels don't need strong fasteners to maintain the seal. It's actually quite possible to build in emergency access that automatically opens by passive means in the even of a represurization incident.

      • How do you get out of an airplane when something goes wrong ?

        A lot of the time you don't. How many airplane crashes have you been in, and how many have you survived?

        • That was the point, yes.

          • That was the point, yes.

            No, the point is that airplane accidents involve forces that normally preclude survival. JUst like with a hyperloop track.

            Survive a plane crash or two and get back to me, then I might take you seriously.

            • No, the point is that airplane accidents involve forces that normally preclude survival. JUst like with a hyperloop track.

              Exactly my point, yes. And despite the grim outlook, millions of planes fly every year with very few deadly accidents.

              • And despite the grim outlook, millions of planes fly every year with very few deadly accidents.

                And despite your cheerleading, it'll never be built to any real scale or carry passengers in any quantity over any distance. It's sounds like a cool idea, but it's not practical.

                Why don't you just zoom down to the test site in your flying car, check it out and report back on the progress?

            • No, the point is that airplane accidents involve forces that normally preclude survival. JUst like with a hyperloop track.

              The hyperloop has no such forces. You are an idiot.

            • That's not true at all, most airplane accidents are very survivable. There are of course those few you see on the news where the plane blows up mid-air or plummets into the ground at mach 2 and they have to count the passengers by the number of teeth found.

              But overall, even including serious cases with fire or other extensive damage to the airframe, the survivability rate is almost 80% [ntsb.gov].

              Thankfully, very few people are even among those 80%, because mishaps are so rare, so there's nobody around to talk about i

              • Just like with hyperloop, which will have way less stuff to fail, and the failure modes are way more forgiving. Like, being stuck for a while.

                The difference between airplanes and the hyperloop is that airplanes can be built.

                • The difference between airplanes and the hyperloop is that airplanes can be built.

                  I'm sure the hyperloop can be built too, we just know it won't fly. Hopefully.

                  • I'm sure the hyperloop can be built too, we just know it won't fly. Hopefully.

                    Why hasn't it been done before and why isn't it in wide use today?

                    If it's practical to do then hyperloops should be all over the place, but they aren't. Why is that?

                    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

                      There are literally thousands of things which are now practical to build, but weren't at one time. Like the computer I am typing this comment on. Even as little as 10 years ago, there was no practical way to build it to the same specs, even as a one-off prototype.

                      Your complete lack of logic paints as you a fucked-up moron who deserves to experience extreme decompression -- first hand.

    • At the volumes they're talking about, I think it would take half an hour to fill even it they cut the tube in two.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thunderf00t does debunk video of hyperloop

    • Thunderf00t does debunk video of hyperloop

      And he did a good job if it, too. Even if just one or two of the points he raises are valid, the whole thing becomes an insurmountable engineering nightmare.

      The hyperloop is more pie-in-the-sky bullshit from Elon Musk. Don't get me wrong- he has some very workable ideas, but the hyperloop ain't one of 'em.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        Like most things, it's bullshit until it works. Then it's genius.

        • Like most things, it's bullshit until it works. Then it's genius.

          Yes, the key words being "until it works", which in this case will never happen.

          Sure, that claim has been made before (manned flight, space travel, etc etc). But none of those things combined insurmountable engineering roadblocks with financial impracticability. The hyperloop has both, and if you can't see that then I'm sorry for your lack of perspective.

          If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong...but I don't think that's the problem here. Anyone who's looked closely at the issues with the hyperloop has to come to the s

          • Anyone who's looked closely at the issues with the hyperloop has to come to the sobering conclusion that it's a really cool idea in theory, but one that will never come to fruition.

            Anyone...except the guys building it.

            • Anyone...except the guys building it.

              They haven't managed to do jack shit yet, even with their toy track, and they never will.

              • But they have looked closely at the issues, and have come to a different conclusion, so your statement is false.

                • But they have looked closely at the issues, and have come to a different conclusion, so your statement is false.

                  We'll see. Or rather, we won't. :)

                  It'll never be built or used on any substantial scale for passenger transport, period. Not even for runs of short distances.

                  This is not a new idea, it's been tried before and it's always been abandoned as ridiculously impractical. And it will be this time too.

          • Like most things, it's bullshit until it works. Then it's genius.

            Yes, the key words being "until it works", which in this case will never happen.

            It will happen. There will be a hyperloop between a couple of places, as a sheik's toy in Dubai, or even LA to Las Vegas as a tourist attraction, but that will be it. It will be far too expensive for wider use, and for safety reasons run at far lower speeds than Musk talks about, even if there are occasional faster publicity runs by technicians.

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          Like most things, it's bullshit until it works. Then it's genius.

          I suspect it will be bullshit for a very long time then. And by the time it becomes genius, if it does, the implementation will probably look nothing like the Hyperloop. If the only thing we keep from the Hyperloop is the idea of running trains in a vacuum, then it will just appear as one of the many attempt we made during the last 100 years.

      • I call it the rloop because I cut out all the hype.

      • by igny ( 716218 )
        thunderf00t's arguments reminded me of early arguments why it would not be possible for a steam engine locomotive to pull a train of cars. Locomotive's wheels would just slip and spin, they said...
  • And breathe!

  • "Hyperloop One has released the first photographs of its "proof of concept" test track "

    Wow, now they have photos, it MUST be real! Who could doubt the viability of this thing now??

  • themselves. And in this system the chassis is the tube, and it is not moving.

    As for emergencies, let us first have an emergency at the test site and see what could be done.

    I think this experimental site would be in human history something like Johannes Gutenberg's printing shop of 1450, or Tim Berners-Lee discovery of hyperlink in 1989.

    When a man flew first time in space in 1961, the next day there was only a tiny article in a central newspaper. As saying goes - destiny knocks on the door quietly.
  • Have they successfully built / connected any curved sections yet? I would imagine that's an important proof of concept at the technical level... just to be able to get the components sourced with the required tolerances and joined seamlessly....
    • Have they successfully built / connected any curved sections yet? I would imagine that's an important proof of concept at the technical level.

      Don't worry. At the speeds they want there cannot be anything like you would recognise as a curve or the passengers' eyeballs would start popping out. Even on modern conventional railways they avoid curves less than 1-2 km radius. "Curves" on the hyperloop could probable be made just by slight shimming of the joints between tube sections.

      BTW, I love these Hyperloop stories. They reveal such a load of public misconceptions (I mean generally, I'm not referring to the parent).

      • Conventional steel-wheel-on-rail trains are limited in their radial acceleration by the minute amounts of superelevation possible, while a hyperloop train is free to bank up to 90 degrees.

        In addition, since a hyperloop will not share infrastructure will conventional trains and will need independent right-of-way anyway, it doesn't have to fit into existing curves. OTOH, it isn't going to fit into medians of interstate highways any more than conventional trains.

        Really, what's going to be the limiting factor i

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Conventional trains can fit into medians just fine if they're elevated. But peak loadings on conventional trains are about an order of magnitude higher than Hyperloop because of the much larger vehicles, which makes for around an order of magnitude higher cost to elevate it. So conventional trains generally try to minimize the use of viaducts.

          Hyperloop does not in any way, shape or form call for "fitting into existing curves" or "banking up to 90 degrees", which you would damn well know if you had actuall

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Sunday March 12, 2017 @03:36PM (#54024141)

    We're still reporting on this scam as if it was a real thing? Wow...
    Monorail... monorail... MONORAILLLLL

  • Its a neat idea, even if it is a very watered down version of the 60's vacuum train concept that ran at near orbital speed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    No fundamental physics issues, the big question is economics. The cars are pretty small and at those speeds you need a lot of spacing between trains. Curves need to be large radius and if track switching is even possible, the switches need to be very large. Its not clear that its less expensive than 350km/h high speed rail - which itself is often not

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