I am wondering if rotating flyweights would slow down the descent of a object that is free falling down to the Earth's surface.
Please reference the conceptual drawing below:
This drawing is showing a cross-sectional view of a sealed hollow cylinder. Inside this hollow cylinder would be two DC electric motors with each having two rods attached to their rotor shaft and would have two thrust bearings sandwiching each rod which would allow each rod to freely pivot up or down as the motor shaft rotates. At the end of each rod will be a flyweight.
There would be a battery attached to the bottom of the cylinder to power the DC motors and to also act as a dead-weight so the cylinder remains in this upward position as it free falls down to Earth's surface. The drawing is also showing a metal plate with a hole in it located at the top of the cylinder to enable this to be dropped from a balloon or helicopter. The DC motors would be counter-rotating to each other in order to keep the cylinder from spinning around.
A balloon or helicopter would take this cylinder up to a certain height and then release it. Just before releasing it, the two DC motors will be turned on and the flyweights will be rotating at a 90 degree angle to the motors' rotor shafts.
Once the cylinder is released and starts to accelerate downward, the rotating flyweights should pivot upwards to a certain degree (as shown in the drawing) and should act as a drag on each of the motors' rotor shafts and thus a drag on the falling cylinder, thus slowing down its descent. I believe the faster the flyweights rotate, the more drag they will produce and the slower the cylinder will descend.
Would rotating flyweights slow down the descent of an object that is free falling down to the Earth's surface?
I have created a revised design that I believe should slow down the descent of the falling object.
The revised drawing above is showing that a round disc with an O-Ring around it which been inserted into the cylinder. This disc has two metal posts attached to the bottom of it. Each post has a thrust bearing and a shaft bearing on top of it. Attached to the shaft bearings are steel cables that are attached to the rods that are attached to the motors' rotor shafts. The inner lining of the cylinder would have some kind of lubricant on it to allow the disc to slide up or down.
The concept is that the air pressure inside the cylinder, below the O-Ring, could be set at ground level pressure (14.7 psia) while the air pressure above the O-Ring will be lower due to the lower ambient air pressure outside of the cylinder. There will be holes in the top of the cylinder to allow air to enter in or exit out of the top section of the cylinder.
In order to create a decelerating force, the DC motors would need to be turned on and off in a continuous loop. When the motors are turned off, the disc will move towards the top of the cylinder and when the motors are turned on, the disc will be pulled back down. A temporary decelerating force should be created during the time periods when the disc is being pulled down.