ONELOOP is made up of 60 members in a variety of sub-teams including Propulsion, Chassis, Controls, and Business teams.
The propulsion team is in charge of developing, testing, and integrating the cold gas thruster that will propel the pod in this year’s competition. Simultaneously, a portion of this team will be developing a Linear Induction Motor (LIM).
A LIM is a motor that utilizes an iron core and copper wiring with 3 phase alternating current to produce power in a linear direction. For this reason, LIMs are an important component for propulsion and levitation in MagLev trains, such as the bullet train. Our goal is to develop this technology so that it can be used on our pod in the near future.
The chassis can be thought to be the “backbone” of the pod. It connects subsystems together while providing the strength and structure necessary to absorb loading from the pod’s high-speed environment. This year we are designing the chassis to utilize highly efficient aluminum alloys and carbon composites to be as lightweight, modular, and robust as possible.
The wheels and suspension system are responsible for supporting the weight of the pod and absorbing any shocks or vibration it might encounter. A small motor is also attached to the wheels to transport the pod whenever our main propulsion system is not in use. This year, we plan on taking inspiration from classic vehicles such as monorails and cars to make our system as reliable as possible.
The controls team develops a complex programming infrastructure between each of the components.
Using microcontrollers and sensor technology, the team interfaces with every subteam to ensure proper signaling between components. The team is currently using Texas Instruments Tiva modules for many microcontrollers, with almost all the code written in C.
The business team is responsible for outreach and business vision planning for the team.
They approach sponsors, write grants, design websites, and manage social media accounts. Their biggest mission for this school year is to write a whitepaper outlining the creation of a Hyperloop track between the UC Davis main campus and the UC Davis medical campus in Sacramento. Getting city and county approval for such a track would be a huge step for the team, and a massive step forward for the economic mobility of Yolo County.