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Attitude Determination Using Two Vector MeasurementsMany spacecraft attitude determination methods use exactly two vector measurements. The two vectors are typically the unit vector to the Sun and the Earth's magnetic field vector for coarse "sun-mag" attitude determination or unit vectors to two stars tracked by two star trackers for fine attitude determination. TRIAD, the earliest published algorithm for determining spacecraft attitude from two vector measurements, has been widely used in both ground-based and onboard attitude determination. Later attitude determination methods have been based on Wahba's optimality criterion for n arbitrarily weighted observations. The solution of Wahba's problem is somewhat difficult in the general case, but there is a simple closed-form solution in the two-observation case. This solution reduces to the TRIAD solution for certain choices of measurement weights. This paper presents and compares these algorithms as well as sub-optimal algorithms proposed by Bar-Itzhack, Harman, and Reynolds. Some new results will be presented, but the paper is primarily a review and tutorial.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Markley, F. Landis
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: 1999 Flight Mechanics Symposium
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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