I have come up with a conceptual idea for a low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system for a CubeSat, and I would like to know if it would create (on a theoretical basis) a net force strong enough to keep a CubeSat in orbit and/or propel it through interplanetary space.
Please reference the conceptual drawing below.
This is showing a non-metallic board with two non-metallic posts fastened to it. Attached to each post is a non-metallic lever with an electromagnet fastened to each end of the lever. (The wires for each electromagnetic are not shown on this drawing). I have labeled each electromagnet with a number to help explain how the system would work. The arrows on the drawing indicate the rotational direction of each lever.
The working principle is that as an electromagnet on each lever is pulled towards each other via their interacting magnetic fields, each lever will be pulled away from the post that it is pivoting on, and this pulling force being exerted on each post will create a net force on the board that should propel the board (and thus the CubeSat) in the direction indicated on the drawing.
The way it would work is as the levers rotate around their posts, when the electromagnet on the top lever reaches Point B and the electromagnet on the bottom lever reaches Point C, electricity will be supplied to these electromagnets causing them to attract one another. When both of these electromagnets reach Point A together, then the electricity to each of these will be turned off so the two will not be magnetically locked together and cause their levers' rotation to stop. Rotation-activated electrical switches would perform this function.
So, as electromagnets #2 and #3 are turned on while they travel between Points B/C to Point A, electromagnets #1 and #4 will be turned off. Then when electromagnets #1 and #4 are turned on while traveling between Points B/C to Point A, electromagnets #2 and #3 are turned off. The electricity for the electromagnets would come from batteries charged up by solar panels.
Also, I believe that the levers should rotate around high-friction shaft bearings. These would be ideal for this system because the harder it is for the electromagnets to rotate the levers, the longer the levers will be in the Points B/C to Point A area of the board and should thus generate more net force during each full revolution of the levers, yet I don't know if this would be true or not. The trade off with using high-friction shaft bearings is that a lot of heat would be generated.
Would this low-tech electromagnetic propulsion system actually work and would the net force created be enough to keep a CubeSat in orbit and/or propel it through interplanetary space?