The First 1-Hour Hyperloop Mission And Its Impact On The Future Of Transportation

Cyril Dénéréaz & Vlad Iorgulescu
March 28, 2024

We are rapidly approaching the moment we've eagerly waited for ever since we began designing and constructing the hyperloop testing facility in Switzerland. The first 1-hour hyperloop test is just around the corner, and witnessing our technology in action will be a pivotal milestone for us. This event will demonstrate the viability of our solution, and validate our team's tireless efforts and dedication over the past years.

We're confident that this proof of concept for this innovative mode of transportation and the upcoming tests we've planned will set a new standard for future projects and accelerate the pace of progress within this emerging industry.

Let's dive deeper into a comprehensive overview of the 1-hour hyperloop test, and examine its profound implications for the future of transportation.

What Is The First 1-Hour Hyperloop Mission?

LIMITLESS Project - Preliminary tests for the first 1-hour hyperloop mission

The 1-hour ride is the stepping stone and a proof of concept for the extensive work we have invested in developing a new mode of transportation that promises unparalleled speed and efficiency. This will be the very first relevant experiment for validating a series of theoretical assumptions we have made regarding the feasibility and viability of the hyperloop solution we are proposing. Through this test, we're leaping from a far-fetched idea to a tangible reality, which brings us closer to the deployment of hyperloop systems.

At the backbone of the 1-hour hyperloop mission are the complex calculations and simulations included in what is probably the first hyperloop-related doctoral thesis in the world, prepared by our CEO, Denis Tudor. These simulations revolve around key aspects that underpin the system's feasibility and efficiency, including energy consumption, propulsion systems, and the thermal behavior of power electronics.

Conducted at the 1:4 scaled hyperloop infrastructure located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the 1-hour mission is an important opportunity to scrutinize the performance of our design when exposed to medium speeds over long distances. Furthermore, it provides us with a vital platform for experimenting with different technologies, enabling us to explore new avenues for the development of hyperloop systems.

Why Is The First 1-Hour Hyperloop Mission So Important?

LIMITLESS Project - Preliminary tests for the first 1-hour hyperloop mission

Testing a hyperloop system requires precise control and management of various factors such as air pressure, temperature, propulsion, and vehicle dynamics. This procedure cannot be accurately performed and evaluated within a brief duration of just a few tens of seconds. This is why this experiment will provide a more reliable and complex assessment of our system's reliability.

Our system can be tested under various conditions within a 1-hour timeframe due to the efficient design of the infrastructure. Its circular form simulates an infinite hyperloop test track with a diameter of 40 meters, allowing us to comprehensively evaluate the system's performance.

Having the capacity to evaluate numerous variables, including performance under varying conditions and extended periods of operation, we can collect invaluable insights and data related to the performance of our system and use it to refine and improve our technology. We will also be able to discover potential issues that may not have been visible in shorter experiments. This makes the 1-hour mission an essential first step for validating our system’s feasibility, ensuring its safety and reliability.

The success of the test coupled with the know-how generated will further allow us to scale the system and bring it to market sooner. Additionally, this has the potential to generate a  far-reaching ripple effect across a range of industries, prompting increased interest, inspiring innovation, and facilitating more investments in the field.

What Are We Testing?

LIMITLESS Project - Preliminary tests for the first 1-hour hyperloop mission

One of the most critical and innovative components we will assess during the 1-hour test, and subsequent tests, will be the control system, and how it regulates the frequency of each Linear Induction Motor (LIM) pole to achieve maximum efficiency and high speeds. We will also monitor the performance of vital components, such as the propulsion system, communication system, power electronics, thermal management, and more.

We will use the calculations and parameters from Denis Tudor's Ph.D. thesis to evaluate factors such as energy consumption, variations in the thrust profile, LIM reaction, and control during specific scenarios of acceleration, cruising, coasting, and braking, among others.

Despite the infrastructure's potential for higher speeds, we will limit the initial tests to 100 km/h, aiming to achieve an energy consumption of 40-70 Wh/passenger/km. Throughout the testing process, we will be closely monitoring the system's ability to maintain speed and accelerate smoothly over an extended period, while ensuring safety and increased energy efficiency.

Finally, if all our theoretical assumptions and boundary conditions hold up, we can use the information collected during the test to scale the system in different ways. For example, we can adapt it to a larger or heavier vehicle, or a different aerodynamic profile. In addition to this,  because of the advanced technology readiness level of the subsystems used, such as propulsion, control, and thermal management, we will be able to speed up the go-to-market process. With sufficient investments and resources, we could bring an efficient hyperloop technology-based product to market within 2 to 3 years.

A Systematic Way Of Building The Hyperloop Infrastructure

LIMITLESS - The first operational hyperloop testing facility in Europe

In contrast to other similar transportation solutions, our system relies on a passive infrastructure, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced implementation costs. Rather than using an active rail with electromagnets to propel the vehicle, we have shifted the complexity of the active system to the vehicle itself. The only active elements in the infrastructure are the vacuum pumps and a wide range of sensors that monitor the vehicle and parameters such as temperature, proximity, and acceleration/deceleration.

This strategic approach offers significant benefits to the system:

What's next

Hyperloop Station Concept

From a technological perspective, the 1-hour mission is just the first of a series of experiments planned that will validate the theoretical assumptions behind the technology and reveal any issues that need to be addressed. These tests will also open up new territories for exploring different key hyperloop subsystems, such as the levitation system, the thermal management system, or different types of batteries, to achieve superior levels of efficiency, safety, and speed.

What’s important is that having this platform for testing our hyperloop solution lets us see how the technology works in practice. It also allows us to rapidly iterate and perform multiple experiments for validating, refining, and bringing the solution to the market. Nevertheless, it gives us a way to better understand the system's capabilities, limitations, and opportunities.

From an operational standpoint, the results of the tests will help refine and adjust our business plan, with a focus on the costs and benefits of implementing the hyperloop and revenue stream possibilities.  Conducting thorough testing and optimization of our hyperloop solution is crucial for generating increased interest from key stakeholders and building their trust in this innovative technology. This will enable us to engage in focused discussions with companies for which the new means of transport would open new business opportunities.

In addition, this effort will provide a strong foundation for engaging in constructive dialogues with local, regional, and international governing bodies. These discussions will center around identifying potential pilot routes for the hyperloop system, evaluating the level of environmental and social impact associated with building the necessary infrastructure and devising strategies to minimize any adverse effects on the surrounding areas.