Dynamics and Stability of Capsules in Pipeline Transportation


Yiyuan Zhao, Thomas Lundgren

May 1996

Report no. Mn/DOT 1996-17

This project studies a new system concept for freight transportation. The idea is to use capsules to transport cargos in concealed pipelines powered by linear electric motors. Such a concept advocates the separation of freight transportation from human movement and can be very effective in reducing the ever-increasing highway congestion problem. This report examines the technical aspects of such a freight pipeline system powered by linear induction motors. Forces acting on a capsule are first discussed, followed by the study of aerodynamic drag forces on a capsule and linear induction thrust forces. Stabilities of both a single capsule and a multiple capsule system are also discussed. These results reveal the basic characteristics of a freight pipeline system, propelled by linear induction propulsion. Various technical issues are discussed. Several related topics are recommended for future research.

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