After their successful participation in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in summer 2017 making it under the top three, Swissloop is ready for the next round. For this year's competition, the ETH Zurich team worked very hardly on a new pod with a new drive system. Again, the pod includes an Aluminum lightweight solution from GF Casting Solutions.
The new Pod, released on 23 May 2018, was “put to the acid test“ until the competition took place on 22 July 2018. Just before the competition, an official testing week took place on a SpaceX test field in Los Angeles, California. This year the ETH Zurich team send the Pod “Mujinga” into the competition. “Mujinga” is named after the fastest woman in Switzerland, Mujinga Kambundij (25), athlete. In the competition of the SpaceX Boss Musk, the Pod “Mujinga” should be shooted through a vacuum tube with 400 km/h. For the competition in Los Angeles, more than 1.000 student teams applied to participate, but only 20 teams were qualified, one of them was Swissloop, which participated for the third time. Despite intensive preparations and a successful testing week on the SpaceX testing area, Swissloop just missed the final. The reason was a problem with the motor controllers during the vacuum chamber test, which led to a short circuit in the high-performance battery. After several tries to repair the battery, the inner cells were still damaged.
This time it wasn´t enough to win the competition, nevertheless the team will continue its development work on the Hyperloop technology. The valuable experiences and the positive feedback further encourage the team to work on its visions, because the long-term goal goes far beyond the competition. #thejourneycontinues
This year’s Pod is driven by 4 electric engines. Together they generate more than 540hp (approx. 400,000 Watt). But the development of a transportation pod does not only serve the participation in the competition, but it should also revolutionize the transport of goods in Switzerland in the long run.