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Encyclopedia > SkyTran
For the use of "unimodal" in mathematics and statistics, see Unimodal function

Unimodal or SkyTran is a proposal by Douglas Malewicki for a 160km/h (100mph) personal rapid transit system. Each car would be suspended from a magnetically-levitated bogie in an overhead track. The magnetic levitation system would be the passive "Inductrack" system using Halbach arrays, as developed by Physicist William Post at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.

A SkyTran passenger car

The system as a whole is engineered to give comfort, safety and convenience superior to an automobile or bus for transporting people.

A key distinctive attribute of Unimodal is its focus on low cost and efficiency. The entire guideway network is made of modular steel components (no cement/concrete work except in planting the poles) which are mass produced in factories. Most other PRTs are mainly "cars on the elevated tracks" and therefore inherit some of the inefficiencies of cars.

The purpose of using magnetic levitation is to eliminate most of the maintenance. There are hardly any moving parts in the system and therefore there is very little wear and tear. That's why it is referred to as "solid state". The additional benefits are extremely low friction, smooth and noiseless travel.

External links

  • http://www.unimodal.com
  • http://www.skytran.net

  Results from FactBites:
UniModal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (318 words)
UniModal or SkyTran (formerly known as People Pod) is a hypothetical concept by Douglas Malewicki for a 160km/h (100mph) personal rapid transit (PRT) system.
Guideways would be mounted on poles about 30 feet above the ground and would be made of modular steel components, attached to cemented foundations.
SkyTran pods, which are suspended from the guideway, would be aerodynamically streamlined to be quieter and save energy (helped by the tandem design - one seat behind the other).
Might it work? – or is it just pie in the SkyTran? | Samizdata.net (2649 words)
SkyTran is basically a scheme I myself have gone a good way towards inventing – in a science fiction kind of way – as a result of my decades-long enthusiasm for the idea of road pricing.
SkyTran wants to move the pods at 100 mph in an urban environment.
The SkyTran site is really big on stressing the low cost of building the system, but they don't seem to have any detailed projections on the running costs.
  More results at FactBites »



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