The concept of a high-speed transport system of the future, consisting of passenger capsules moving through special pipes-tunnels in a vacuum at a transonic speed, needs serious improvements to become a reality.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies contributed to the idea, which would make the Hyperloop system much cheaper and safer by using passive magnetic levitation, developed 16 years ago at Livermore National Laboratory by physicist Richard Post.
Levitation is provided by a special configuration of magnets known as the Halbach magnetic assembly. Thanks to it, the magnetic flux bends, and on the one hand, the strength of the magnetic field can increase several times, and on the other, it can also decrease.
Richard Post suggested that the circuit he developed, called Inductrack, could be used as a replacement for maglev systems that use powerful electromagnets. During the experiments, Post's magnetic induction lifted a 22 kg platform 25 meters above the test track. NASA immediately became interested in the invention, where they decided to use it when launching rockets in order to save fuel.
Work on the use of Inductrack has been carried out by the startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies for over a year. The passive magnetic levitation system was tested last year, after which it was licensed. The system turned out to be economical and, no less important, fault-tolerant. Even when the power is turned off, the capsules will "hang" and touch the surface only when they reach a stop.
It is worth noting that not only HTT is implementing the Hyperloop idea, but also another independent startup Hyperloop Technologies, as well as many enthusiasts. However, the author of the idea of hypersonic transport, Elon Musk, himself, contrary to statements, is not ready to completely abandon experiments in this direction. His company SpaceX is building a test track in California.