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Swissloop is a student organisation supported by ETH Zurich, conducting research on the Hyperloop technology and its application in the real world. In the past years, we have taken part in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition and are proud to report that we came second in the last contest in 2019.
Swissloop Team 2020/2021
The Season 2020/2021
The current team is in the process of developing a levitating Hyperloop pod based on a self-developed linear induction motor. Due to the complexity of this task regarding control, sensors & power electronics, the prototype is not levitating completely contactless. Instead, the number of unrestricted translational axes has been reduced. The vehicle is stabilized along the horizontal as well as the rotational roll and yaw axis by small wheels, as shown in the picture below.
Traditionally, the engineers at Swissloop design the critical PCBs in house to ensure maximum reliability, flexibility and understanding of the technical functionality. This year’s prototype includes in total twelve self-developed PCBs, which were manufactured and partly assembled by Eurocircuits. The electronics consist of a control and monitoring subsystem and a high voltage inverter system.
The low voltage system includes a battery management system (BMS); various sensors such as pressure, distance, and velocity sensors; an inverter control unit including gate drivers and safety circuits; and a centralized autonomous vehicle control unit. The inverter system consists of multiple power modules specially designed for the custom linear induction motor.
One of the PCBs manufactured by Eurocircuits
European Hyperloop Week
Besides Hyperloop UPV, Delft Hyperloop, HYPED Hyperloop Edinburgh, Swissloop is one of the core organizers of the European Hyperloop Week (EHW) in Valencia in July 2021. The EHW 2021 provides the opportunity to student teams, start-ups, foundations, companies, and other related organizations, to present their research, innovations and developments in the field of Hyperloop. Applicants, who successfully proceed to exhibit at EHW 2021, will receive the opportunity to show their systems over the course of a week. Additionally, they have the opportunity to compete in the Design Competition with one or multiple systems and win one of six different awards.
Computer Generated Rendering of the Prototype
Cooperation with Eurocircuits
During the process of reviewing and ordering the PCBs, the provided services of Eurocircuits have been invaluable. Starting with the PCB Configurator® it was possible to estimate the costs of production at an early stage. The marking functionality allowed the placement of high-quality logos on the silk screen and was very useful. With the help of the PCB Checker® various errors could be fixed before manufacturing. For example, extended design rule checks (DRC), detection of missing layers or band copper distribution which could lead to reduced quality PCBs was performed on every PCB. A life savior during our design process was the PCB Visualizer® used for checking the footprints and revealed for instance a misplaced SD-Card adapter.