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Chennai to Bengaluru in 30 mins? This could be reality in 10 yrs with IIT Madras’s ‘hyperloop rail’

Chennai to Bengaluru in 30 mins? This could be reality in 10 yrs with IIT Madras’s ‘hyperloop rail’

‘Avishkar Hyperloop’ project team is in initial stages of demonstrating a hyperloop rail model that can ease inter-city travel in India in future and cost a fraction of an air ticket.

Imagine a pod or compartment of passengers that runs inside a tube in partial vacuum and ferries them from Chennai to Bengaluru — a distance of around 350 km — in just 30 minutes.

The high-speed transportation system, running on hyperloop technology, may become a reality in India in 10 years, says a team of over 50, comprising undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras, working on the project titled ‘Avishkar Hyperloop’.

Medha Kommajosyula, student team lead of ‘Avishkar Hyperloop’ project, told ThePrint, “This year we are very close to validating our concept, meaning proving our hypothesis with a physical experiment.”

“If we continue working at the pace we are going at right now, we may be able to build the first working hyperloop rail of scale in the next 10 years or so,” she added.

The hyperloop system, an idea credited to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, uses magnetic propulsion to accelerate pods in partial vacuum, allowing them to travel at extremely high speeds — up to 1,000 km per hour — due to the lower air resistance.

IIT Madras’s Avishkar team claims it is among the few student-led teams in the world that has been able to construct such a pod, run it through a tube and prove the concept of hyperloop.

Professor Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, the faculty adviser for Avishkar Hyperloop, told ThePrint: “As of now, the team is in the initial stages of demonstrating a sub-scale hyperloop model. They are currently in Scotland demonstrating the levitation of the pod created by them.”

According to the team, they have so far applied for six patents for the technologies used in the making of hyperloop rail, including for the technology used in making the tube, the levitation and propulsion system for the pods and the cooling architecture for the battery.

Medha added, “As of now, we are looking at how to make an air-conditioner functional in a pod inside a vacuum. Also, what kind of ventilation and how many people can be seated are some of the things we need to figure out”.

The Ministry of Railways had last year given funding of Rs 8.34 crore to IIT-Madras for a collaborative project on hyperloop technology. The allowance came after the institute had submitted a research proposal to the ministry to collaborate and indigenously develop a hyperloop-technology based transportation system and its subsystems.

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