New MagLev-Cobra due to come into operation in the second half of 2024

Planeta COPPE / Electrical Engineering / Energy / Low Carbon / News

Date: 21/03/2024

Coppe/UFRJ’s magnetic levitation train, MagLev-Cobra, has acquired an industrial version and is due to return to the Cidade Universitária campus in mid to late 2024. The new vehicle arrives at Coppe on March 22 and was designed by Aerom, a Coester Group company, with automation, cooling, and door systems that meet international quality standards. The next phase begins the following week and consists of integrating the vehicle with the railway and implementing the automation system. To this end, the project will be joined by SeaHorse, a company originating from Coppe’s Business Incubator.

Coordinated by Professor Richard Stephan from the Electrical Engineering Program at Coppe/UFRJ and from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic School/UFRJ, this new version of MagLev-Cobra features a visual identity in line with the global standards of the most efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport. With financial support from Faperj, this project incorporates advanced manufacturing and contributes significantly to the new commercial mission of the vehicle and its systems.

Similarly to the first testing phase, which took place between 2015 and 2020, the MagLev-Cobra will run on the 200-meter experimental railway that connects the Technology Center 1 (CT1) and Technology Center 2 (CT2). In all, more than 20,000 people have boarded the MagLev-Cobra until it was suspended with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Richard Stephan explains that the vehicle used during the early testing period was a preliminary version. The new one, on the other hand, meets industrial standards with an automated system and no need for a pilot.

According to him, the next step after this phase will be to test the MagLev-Cobra on a railway of at least 1 kilometer with curves and inclines and that enables a speed of 70 km/h or higher. The goal of this step is for the project to reach technology readiness level 9 on the TRL scale proposed by NASA.

About MagLev-Cobra

Developed under the coordinator Professor Richard Stephan, the MagLev-Cobra operates silently and with no emission of pollutants. It is a solar-powered vehicle using solar panels along its experimental railway. During test runs, it travels at a speed of 10 km/h, which is enough to demonstrate the viability of levitation technology, but it could safely reach 70 km/h or higher on longer railways.

As for the implemented technology, he explains that the vehicle uses magnetic levitation instead of wheels, with superconductors installed in the lower part of the vehicle and “rails” made of rare earth magnets.

  • Maglev-Cobra
  • Magnetic Levitation