Transatlantic HyperloopJanuary 8, 2020
The hyperloop technology is being developed in many countries. Various startups and big companies are working on this project and want to make it a reality. There is Virgin Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Hardt Hyperloop, Zeleros and others fighting to be the first company to come up with the best solution and to build the fully functional hyperloop route.
Most of those above-mentioned firms are looking into the idea of the hyperloop being a pod moving through a tube that is placed above the ground, sometimes alongside highways and railroads. The Boring Company is also working on an underground tunnel in Las Vegas. It could, in the future, be used as a tunnel for hyperloop pods.
There is also another approach that has not been fully explored yet. It is the idea of an underwater hyperloop. The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (Marin) is a Dutch research institute that provides advanced hydrodynamic and nautical expertise to the international maritime and offshore industry and governments. They provide full-scale measurements, simulators and testing facilities which enable them to make accurate calculations for some innovative ideas and projects they are examining.
Marin has been working on a transatlantic underwater hyperloop and has already carried out its first demonstration tests. Their model has 140 metres and is made in scale so it is the equivalent of 15 kilometres of a real tube. It was made in 170-metre long research basin which is one of the very few places in the world that can be used for conducting that type of experiment. The researchers were investigating how the hyperloop technology will react to wave movements. Their studies were conducted at a depth of 50, 100 and 200 metres.
The study assumes that the length of the tunnel in a full scale would be around 5.500 kilometres with roughly 30-metre long pods cruising inside of it. Those pods could possibly carry up to 60 people. The hyperloop would be placed at least 100 metres below the sea level. Ideally, the pods would travel at 1.000 kilometres per hour.
That kind of studies are necessary to check if an underwater hyperloop is even worth considering. The researchers wanted to examine the tube’s response to the wave activity. This will give them an idea on the safety of the whole construction under real underwater conditions.
Right now Marin has to analyse the results of the tests they have performed. The next step would be the formation of a consortium with other parties. In this way they can work together on developing the first transatlantic underwater hyperloop.