Redchyts Evaluation of aerodynamic and thermal loads on the HYPERLOOP capsule fuselage in a partly evacuated tube

  • Oleh Borysovych Polovyi
  • Dmytro Oleksandrovych Redchyts


Aerodynamics occupies an important place in the design of high-speed ground transportation systems. When a vehicle is moving at a speed above 500 km/h under atmospheric pressure, the main energy is spent to overcome the aerodynamic drag. Creating a rarefied atmosphere inside a sealed pipe in order to significantly reduce energy loss is one of the key ideas of the HYPERLOOP project [1].
The paper assesses the aerodynamic and thermal loads on the HYPERLOOP capsule fuselage in a partly evacuated tube based on the numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equations of compressible flow closed by a differential turbulence model [2-4]. Numerical modeling was carried out with the help of the computational fluid dynamics software developed by the scientific researchers of the Institute of Transport Systems and Technologies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [5].
It was shown that even under conditions of low air pressure in a partly evacuated tube the high-speed movement of the HYPERLOOP capsule will be accompanied by the formation of local supersonic zones, shock waves and non-stationary vortex systems. The structure of the flow essentially depends on geometry of the streamlined capsule and the speed of its movement.
It was found that the flow structure and the values of aerodynamic dimensionless coefficients weakly depend on the pressure in the partly evacuated tube. Thus, the aerodynamic forces acting on the HYPERLOOP capsule at the same speeds are almost directly proportional to the pressure value in the tube.
A certain problem in the design of the HYPERLOOP type high-speed vehicles will be the aerodynamic heating of the capsule fuselage. When the capsule moves at transonic speed the temperature of the outer surface of the capsule will be 60÷900 C. This heat load can have a negative impact on the performance of onboard power supply and control systems, as well as on the ensuring of the passengers’ comfort on the way.


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