Today we operated the newly installed second power system that is located on the west end of the guideway. We ran the VECTORR first with only the new power system to compare it to the original one that is located towards the eastern end of the guideway. We then tested with both systems running. As expected, performance and speed increased dramatically. Now, using push-pull, VECTORR climbs the 10% grade more easily than it did the original 6% grade. From the base of the 10% grade, VECTORR accelerated so rapidly that it reached the maximum speed we allow on the track by the time the entire unit crested the grade. The push-pull is utilized as a form of "atmospheric boost" to maintain respectable speeds on steep grades. The guideway is now 1200 feet (366 m) long. A video showing push-pull on the 10% grade can be found on the Photos and Videos page. The western power system was pushing while the eastern power system was pulling the unit over the 10% grade.
The guideway is now 1000 feet (305 m) long. The pictures below show the 10% grade leveling off and transitioning to a 2% grade. An additional 700 feet (213.50 m) of guideway, a second stationary power system, and a Z-Valve will be installed by Fall 2011. The pilot model final phase is to extend the guideway to include a 180 degree curve with a 48 foot (14.64 m) radius.
The extension of the outdoor test guideway is currently under construction. We are adding 1100 feet (335.50 m) to the existing guideway shown below to include a 10% grade. This will allow us to further document the grade climbing and atmospheric braking capabilities of VECTORR.