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Help AZLoop Build -SpaceX Hyperloop

After three qualifier rounds, AZLoop is preparing to head to SpaceX’s headquarters! Why, you ask? Because AZLoop was selected as one of only 23 teams in the world to build some of the first ever prototypes for the Hyperloop! We are slated to launch our pod down SpaceX’s one-mile test track in Hawthorne, CA during Competition 2 on August 25-27, 2017.

Fueled by enthusiasm for innovative and sustainable technology, our interdisciplinary team of 100+ students is working incredibly hard to make the Hyperloop a reality. However, our team has hit an obstacle and we need the community’s help. We have tapped out institutional resources through the university and are looking for your support so we can continue building and development. We have the design, competence, advisors, and team to build a safe and sustainable system. We offer sponsorship tiers and are appreciative of individual donations as well! Your support can bring us one step closer to the clean energy transportation system of the future! Breakdown of how funds are applied is provided below.

What’s Our Story? And What on Earth is the Hyperloop?

This revolutionary mode of transportation was initially proposed by Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla. He revealed his vision for this sustainable mode of transportation back in 2013 with the release of his Hyperloop Alpha paper. In it, he described some of the technical details for a system where passengers are transported comfortably inside of levitating pods at speeds up to 760 mph using clean, renewable energy.

“The fact that in your mind, you dream this stuff, you dream stuff that no one else would dare dream, or no one else would be capable of dreaming at the level of complexity that you do. The fact that you do that, Elon Musk, is a really remarkable thing. Thank you for helping us all to dream a bit bigger.” –Chris Anderson to Elon Musk on TED

Though Musk has no plans to develop the technology himself, he wants to see this futuristic idea come to fruition. In 2015, SpaceX announced the first official Hyperloop competition, inspiring thousands of students from universities across the world to drive forward the development!

We have been working nonstop on the Hyperloop ever since Musk first announced his plans for the competition. During Competition 1, we were a small team of less than a dozen students. It was really tough, but also very exciting to be a part of something that will transform the lives of others. There were a lot of late nights and even more all-nighters. Despite the small size of the team back then, we qualified as one of the last 120 teams to make it to Design Weekend in January of 2016 – beating out over 1200 other competitors from across the world. Unfortunately, the team was cut from Competition 1 as SpaceX had concerns regarding our abilities to accomplish such a feat in a short period of time with so few students. Still an impressive accomplishment to have made it that far, especially given the fact that we competed against other teams who had anywhere from 100 to 300 members!

Competition 1 was an excellent learning opportunity for us. While waiting for SpaceX to officially announce a second competition, we took the time afforded to rally a larger team and more resources. That announcement finally came in September of 2016. Following the mantra of ASU President Dr. Michael Crow, “We are measured not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include and how they succeed,” Project Leads Lynne Nethken and Josh Kosar decided to officially open up the team to students not only at ASU, but also Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Northern Arizona University, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. From that point forward, we officially became known as AZLoop – Arizona’s SpaceX Hyperloop Competition Team, a group of over 100 students from four different universities in the state of Arizona, from freshmen to PhD, majoring in various fields of engineering, science, mathematics, design, and business.

With a solid design concept approved for the build phase by SpaceX, a much larger team, a 3000 square foot lab space, and plans for a ½-mile Hyperloop test track at ASU’s Polytechnic campus next year, we are fired up and ready to build a Hyperloop pod and take it through to Competition Weekend. To say that AZLoop takes this project seriously would be an understatement. Despite having demanding course loads–and, in many cases, part time jobs–each member who joins AZLoop volunteers a minimum of ten hours per week, with many putting in much more than that. This has allowed us to form a dedicated, interscholastic, and interdisciplinary team comprised of some of the most talented students in Arizona who come from all corners of the world.

Long-Term Vision

The motivation that stems from competitiveness is in itself a key component to the team’s success thus far, but we also share a vision for the future. We want to make the Hyperloop a reality so that we can not only revolutionize travel, but also help to transform economies and offer more sustainable solutions for transit. Picture being able to live in Phoenix and work in Tuscon, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Albuquerque or other cities, while still making it back home at a decent time for dinner. But, how is this possible?

Similar to existing high-speed rail platforms, Hyperloop pods arrive at the station every 5-6 minutes. During transit, the pods levitate using special magnets while traveling inside of a near vacuum tube to significantly reduce atmospheric drag. This allows the pods to reach speeds of up to 760 mph, meaning you can get to Tucson in about 15 minutes or LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, or Albuquerque in 30 – and for less than $50 a ticket!

We are looking forward to the day when people and cargo can travel to destinations at hyperspeed. Actually… we aren’t just looking forward to it, we are READY to build this technology so we can help make it happen!

Who’s ready to help us build THE HYPERLOOP?!
Competition Cost Breakdown:

   $   38,874     Propulsion: Makes the pod go really fast!
   $      5,272     Braking: We have to be able to stop!
   $      5,235     Levitation: Magnets are awesome!
   $      2,244     Stability: Smooth rides are critical!
   $       3,731     Power: Batteries for electronics!
   $   39,464     Electronics: Controllers, sensors, and motors, oh my!
  +$   14,959     Materials and Manufacturing: Shell & Chassis Structure!
   $  109,779    Grand Total for Competition Pod Costs

   $   109,779     Total Competition Pod Costs
 +$   24,000     Travel: To send our pod and team to SpaceX!
   $  133,779     Grand Total for all Competition Costs

How Your Donation Helps:

For the second consecutive year, Arizona State University has been rated the #1 Most Innovative School in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. In collaboration with other top research institutions in the state, we can guarantee that your support is going to have a direct impact on the development of some of the world’s leading class technology in transportation – and not just any technology – but transportation technology that is going to be more economical, scalable, and environmentally conscious than the world has ever seen in a mass-transit system.

If you are interested in learning more about the team, our final design concept, sponsorship, or how you can contribute, please contact cnethken@asu.edu

Stay tuned to our social media accounts for more updates, images, and videos!

Thank you from AZLoop!

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