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Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science
  Volume 4, Number 3, May 2017 , pages 335-351

Attitude estimation: with or without spacecraft dynamics?
Yaguang Yang and Zhiqiang Zhou

    Kalman filter based spacecraft attitude estimation has been used in many space missions and has been widely discussed in literature. While some models in spacecraft attitude estimation include spacecraft dynamics, most do not. To our best knowledge, there is no comparison on which model is a better choice. In this paper, we discuss the reasons why spacecraft dynamics should be considered in the Kalman filter based spacecraft attitude estimation problem. We also propose a reduced quaternion spacecraft dynamics model which admits additive noise. Geometry of the reduced quaternion model and the additive noise are discussed. This treatment is easier in computation than the one with full quaternion. Simulations are conducted to verify our claims.
Key Words
    extended Kalman filter; linearization; spacecraft attitude estimation
Yaguang Yang: Office of Research, NRC, 21 Church Street, Rockville, 20850, USA
Zhiqiang Zhou: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA

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