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Nov 25, 2016 09:19 AM EST

SpaceX Hyperloop Design From Maryland Sees Magnets As Solution

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Student teams who made the 2016 SpaceX Hyperloop challenge are working round the clock to make sure that their entry is going to make the grade in the January 2017 competition.

And a team of undergraduates from Maryland sees magnets as the essential element to winning Elon Musk's challenge.

When Elon Musk challenged all scientific minds to create a mass public transportation system that would take passengers in less time than usual using a vacuum tube, a lot of students and research teams have answered. Kyle Kaplan, a junior UMD student who leads the Maryland team, is busy preparing for the California testing, cites BTN.

He leads a team of sixty people which are composed of mostly undergraduates and some professional engineers. Their Hyperloop pod works on magnetic systems. Other teams' pod designs also works on magnetic levitation. These teams see magnets as the key to maintaining high speeds without causing friction. It is also a means to control braking and acceleration.

Kaplan explains that when they formed the team they did not get into the mindset of making a pod. They went into the challenge as engineers would, which is how to tackle the problem. Kaplan particularly enjoys problem solving. And he points out that the team's ideas come from class and personal projects.

Currently, Kaplan and the Maryland team are working on the magnetic systems working with high speeds and they are still working on it. When the publication asked the team captain what is next for the group if they make the grade in January, he says they are going to continue working on the pod with lessons learned from the competition.
Although he admits that there is still a lot of things to be done and reaching that point may be decades away, he agrees that the Hyperloop challenge is going to change the world.

Do you think Maryland is going to win the January 2017 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Challenge and enter the next round?

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