First Steps on Two New Projects

As the team wraps up construction and testing of our ASME HPVC entry for this year, I’ve been planning out HPVDT’s next projects. We had a General Meeting yesterday to get things going, and now it’s official: our next projects are a new speedbike and – for the first time ever – a human-powered submarine!

Our new speedbike will be similar to AeroVelo’s Eta, which many members of HPVDT helped to build over the summer of 2014. However, not all of its systems and components will be the same. Some of the design changes being made are a more accessible fairing construction, improvements to the frame geometry and stiffness, and (as part of an ongoing partnership with AeroVelo) new wheels. We’re also investigating some entirely new systems, such as landing gear, real-time measurement of tire temperatures to provide warning prior to failure, and a means of cancelling-out the motion of the rider’s legs during high-speed sprints. The plan is to have the new bike constructed by August to allow for testing and troubleshooting before the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in September.

The Eta speedbike, designed and built by HPVDT's partner team AeroVelo, will serve as a baseline for our new bicycle.

The Eta speedbike, designed and built by HPVDT’s partner team AeroVelo, will serve as a baseline for our new bicycle.

We’ve built bicycles, tricycles, an ornithopter and a helicopter. Once again it’s time for something new: a human-powered submarine. We’re still working out the details, but the goal is to build something that’s agile, fun, safe, and fast – hopefully fast enough to break the current speed record of 7.282 knots. It’s an exciting time, since none of us have ever designed anything like this. We’ll be looking at new aspects of performance and efficiency, as well as a whole bunch of new safety concerns. I am confident that we’ll succeed; every student on HPVDT is smart, motivated, and above all competent in engineering design.

 

The current world record of 7.282 knots (3.75 m/s) is held by Omer 8, a submarine designed, built, and operated by students from  École de technologie supérieure (ETS) in Motreal, Quebec.

The current world record of 7.282 knots (3.75 m/s) is held by Omer 8, a submarine designed, built, and operated by students from École de technologie supérieure (ETS) in Motreal, Quebec.

Check back regularly for more updates on our progress for both of these projects!

Calvin Moes, HPVDT website Captain

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