TOCS Event-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

TOCS Event


Robert Baertsch

Robert Baertsch
Co-Founder, SkyTran


March 27, 1:30 pm



CMUSV, Rm 118 [directions]

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Title: SkyTran – A Compelling Alternative to the Car
Abstract: Skytran is a high-speed magnetically levitated personal transport system that works in dense urban areas.
This talk will motivate the problem of the expense of increasing the number of people that can be transported in dense urban areas. We will describe a technology that can reduce the installation costs for increased traffic infrastructure from an average of 20 to 100 million dollars per mile to under 10. We will describe Skytran as also adding reduction in travel time and cost per mile over alternatives for short transit needs. We will describe a physics-based simulator to model a large network of Skytran vehicles. The model is covers: 1) passenger demand during rush and off peak times; 2) accurate vehicle acceleration; 3) merge and collision detection; 4) passenger demand in stations; 5) power and energy use of Skytran; 6) simulated wind conditions. A hardware prototype of the Skytran vehicle that is now operating at NASA Ames under a NASA/SkyTran Space Act Agreement with plans for an larger ¼ mile loop near hanger two. SkyTran and the city of Mountain View are working with US DOT and FTA staff to develop a plan for incubating this new industry.
The basic maglev/motor-generator technology is already being used in by Aerogen in direct drive wind turbine generators.
Speaker Bio: Robert Baertsch received his PhD in for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He studied computational biology and wrote software for the large compute cluster used to analyse mammalian genomes looking for patterns of evolution for the human genome project. Robert is developing a distributed control system for Skytran, a high-speed magnetically levitated personal transport system that works in dense urban areas.