Vacuum specialist Leybold GmbH is supporting students from science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM university ETH Zurich who have made it through to the next stage of the SpaceX competition with their Swissloop concept.
In order to accelerate the development of functional prototypes and encourage student innovation, US entrepreneur Elon Musk announced the Hyperloop Pod competition in 2015, which challenges university teams to design and build the best transport pod. The first two competitions were held in January and August 2017 and were the first of their kind anywhere in the world.
Based on these successes, SpaceX has moved forward with the third installment – the 2018 Hyperloop Pod Competition – of which ETH Zurich is a contender.
Being supported by Leybold, the Swissloop team will once again prove themselves in the summer of 2018 with their enhanced Hyperloop capsule.
In a press release, Leybold explained the technology, “The Hyperloop concept is based essentially on vacuum technology: the vacuum tunnel massively reduces air resistance and thus enables smooth driving at speeds of up to 1,000 kilometers per hour. At the same time, the tube offers sufficient space for solar panels. The energy required to maintain the vacuum can be obtained from the modules located on the surface of the vacuum tubes. This turns it into an energy self-sufficient system that is not only visionary but also sustainable.”