Exploratory Analysis of Biomimetic-inspired Oceanic Hyperloop Transport Infrastructures
Scientific Area: Earth Systems: Oceans to near Space
Yuming Liu – Senior Research Scientist Center for Ocean Research Department of Mechanical Engineering
Rui Artur Bártolo Calçada – Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto
Abstract: At the end of the 19th century, the French novelist Jules Verne published the book “Paris in the 20th century”, which envisioned tube trains stretching across the Atlantic Ocean. Nowadays, there are mainly four modes of transport (plane, car, train, and boat), but a fifth mode is becoming more and more real. The Hyperloop intends to be a revolution in the transport systems by connecting countries through the ocean in a faster and more ecological way, when compared to the conventional transport systems. Basically, the Hyperloop transport allows the high-speed transportation of passengers and goods inside a capsule, which travels through a tube with reduced internal pressure. Scientists and engineers have now an important role to find reliable solutions to create this revolution. The implementation of Hyperloop arises several challenges to all stakeholders, namely in what concerns the design of the infrastructure. Therefore, this project, Hyerloop-Verne, intends to be a major contribution to connect the Hyperloop transport with biomimetics, in order to find reliable solutions. This link with biomimetics has been the way to find good solutions in several fields of engineering and technology. For that, FEUP and MIT teams will bring important synergies toward addressing the problem of how to explore and develop a concept of biomimetic-inspired oceanic Hyperloop transport infrastructures. Furthermore, this exploratory project (Hyperloop-Verne) proposes a new challenge for the hyperloop technology – to adapt this transport to operate in marine environments, with the aim of allowing intercontinental transport of goods and passengers. However, oceans can be very hostile for engineering structures, due to extreme temperatures, waves loads, salt water, interaction with the ecosystems, difficulties of maintenance and accessibility, which implies the development of new strategies to solve these problems not only related to the structural design and integrity but also at the material level. Hence, the research plan of this exploratory project (Hyperloop-Verne) involves a consistent analysis of the hyperloop transport system considering a critical literature review and identification of the most recent developments. Then, different biomimetic approaches will be studied, namely examples of their application to the ocean environment. A bio-inspired design solution will be proposed and a representative model will be established to analyse different load scenarios. The material selection will also play an important role, based on the identification of marine environment requirements and characterization of material properties, such as fatigue-corrosion behaviour.