HyperRapid (EUIPO No. 018153765, Registration pending)

After the hype of the HyperLoop has reanimated the SwissMetro idea and many years of simulations using NUMSTA(R), I realized that the vehicle aerodynamics of this transportation mode can almost completely blended out by reducing the pressure to a level near zero. This concept is called the HyperRapid, which reminds the Transrapid whose proven technology shall be used for levitation and propulsion.

In the HyperRapid, there is no chocking (Kantrowitz Limit); it will allow traveling speeds well beyond the speed of sound in a liquid, i.e. 340 m/s in air, 970 m/s in Helium or 1200 m/s in Hydrogen. A first target is 1800 m/s, i.e. 6500 km/h.

The aerodynamic challenge of the HyperRapid is the generation and maintenance of an almost complete vacuum, which would allow the vehicle to travel like in the Thermosphere (about 200 km altitude). There are other challenges as well, such as the tube, the vehicle technology as well as safety and comfort aspects. I have developed technical solutions for this.

For investors who are interested to create the ultimate (in terms of low pressure and high speed) ground transportation mode, I am more than happy to discuss the development of the HyperRapid.

In 1994, I started my work on the SwissMetro and developed NUMSTA(R), the most comprehensive simulation tool for the NUMerical Simulation of Tunnel Aerodynamics on the market. In the course of this project, I realized the central aerodynamic problem of high speed transportation in a partial vacuum is the air displacement around the vehicle. Hence, I suggested to place a turbine inside the vehicle; that concept was called the TurboSwissMetro.

This concept was described in detail in a Masters Thesis

Rudolf, Alexander (1996). Comparison of systems for active and passive flow bypassingTravail de Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (Masters Thesis). Lausanne: EPFL

and in a chapter of my PhD

Rudolf, Alexander (1998). Simulation of compressible flow in tunnel systems induced by trains traveling at high speedPhD thesis. Lausanne: EPFL. p. 173.

The most important result of my analyses on the Swissmetro with NUMSTA(R) was that the aerodynamic problems can be reduced with the pressure. However, the required power and the limiting aerodynamic effect of choking are not completely suppressed, which still limits the speed and results in unacceptable high energy consumption.