X-ES Modules in Badgerloop Pod Help Propel Team Ahead in SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Badgerloop team, sponsored in part by Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES), unveiled their new Hyperloop Transportation Pod ahead of the final stage of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition taking place in January 2017.

The SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

The Hyperloop Pod Competition, originally devised by SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk, exists for the sole purpose of advancing Hyperloop technology. Musk’s Hyperloop vision is one of a regional transportation system network that is safer, faster, more affordable, immune to weather, sustainably self-powering, resistant to earthquakes, and non-disruptive to its neighbors – a truly new and revolutionary mode of transportation for a modern world.

The first stage of the open-source competition held in January 2016 yielded over 120 submissions from universities and engineering teams from across four continents. Of those 120 submissions, only thirty, including Badgerloop, were invited to test their prototypes on SpaceX’s mile-long test track in Hawthorne, California.

Badgerloop Team Reveal for Hyperloop Competition

Badgerloop’s Contributions to the Hyperloop Competition

XPedite8150 COM Express Mezzanine Module

The reveal event, held at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on December 6th, gave sponsors and the community a unique opportunity to view the pod and learn about the technologies that have allowed the 1,900-pound capsule to travel at speeds exceeding 180 miles per hour.

Among these fascinating technologies are two XPedite8150 COM Express® processor mezzanine modules donated by X-ES to the Badgerloop team. Badgerloop Software Team Co-Lead Kyle Grieger explained that Badgerloop has used the XPedite8150 as the “brain of the pod”, and that the modules’ Intel® Atom™ E3800 processors enable the team to “communicate with our pod over a network that SpaceX will be providing”.

Grieger further explained that the XPedite8150 will allow the pod’s operators to interact with the pod’s various modules during the competition. Utilizing the XPedite8150’s supported CAN bus protocol, the team will be able to make configuration adjustments on the fly.

The XPedite8150 was chosen for this role due to its high level of optimization and durability. Designed and tested for maximum reliability in the most demanding environments, the XPedite8150 also provides best-in-class performance-per-watt, allowing it to overcome the spatial restrictions and environmental demands of hyperloop technology.

Badgerloop enters the final stage of the two-year long Hyperloop Pod Competition looking to improve on an impressive third-place overall finish in the design phase out of more than 30 competing entries from teams across the globe.

University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering Dean Ian Robertson, who spoke at the event, expressed his belief that the team would finish in first place this coming January. However, as Badgerloop President David Van Veen said in his speech, “the value of Badgerloop does not lie in its accomplishments; the true value is the inspiration instilled in its members”.

X-ES is proud to be a supporter of the Badgerloop team, and wish them continued success in the competition over the course of 2017.

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