Temperature sensors monitor surface temperature of the hyperloops polyurethane-coated drive wheel & ten coated running wheels

Written by: Micro Epsilon UK Ltd | Published:

Travelling from A to B at record pace in the Hyperloop – that’s the vision of Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. But this high speed mode of transportation requires precision sensors to take over important measurement tasks. Compact infrared temperature sensors from Micro-Epsilon check the surface temperature of the Hyperloop drive wheels.

The Hyperloop resembles the principle of a pneumatic dispatch (tube) system. Electrically driven transport capsules are conveyed on air cushions using solar energy through a tube in partial vacuum. Elon Musk has been pursuing his idea of fast locomotion. He claims that the Hyperloop enables travel speeds up to 1,500 km – significantly faster and cheaper than by train. In June 2015, the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition was organised with the aim of accelerating the development of Hyperloop.

The WARR Hyperloop Team of the Technical University of Munich was selected out of three teams to send its capsule through the tube. Visionary Elon Musk observed the capsule’s travel in person. Only the capsule designed by the Munich students got to the finish and won the main prize for the fastest Hyperloop pod developed by more than 32 students. In summer 2017, the students also won the second Hyperloop contest in Los Angeles. They achieved top speeds of 324 km/h (>200 mph).

The high speed transportation capsule is, among other things, equipped with thermoMETER CSmicro miniature infrared temperature sensors supplied by Micro-Epsilon. Their task is to monitor the surface temperature of the polyurethane-coated drive wheel and ten coated running wheels. The drive wheel has a radius of 80mm and achieves maximum rotational speeds of 12,000 rpm. The running wheels have a radius of 25mm and keep the vehicle on the rail. The surface temperature must be inspected during the capsule’s travel and also in the internal test bench in order to ensure durability of the wheels and to control their wear. The temperature of the polyurethane coating on the wheels should not exceed 120°C. Knowing these values also enables the evaluation of limits and permanent load in order to make improvements if required.

In order to precisely determine the surface temperature of the wheels,Micro Epsilon thermoMETER CSmicro temperature sensors were installed approx. 75mm above the surface of the drive wheel.

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