Relative Attitude Determination of Earth Orbiting Formations Using GPS ReceiversSatellite formation missions require the precise determination of both the position and attitude of multiple vehicles to achieve the desired objectives. In order to support the mission requirements for these applications, it is necessary to develop techniques for representing and controlling the attitude of formations of vehicles. A generalized method for representing the attitude of a formation of vehicles has been developed. The representation may be applied to both absolute and relative formation attitude control problems. The technique is able to accommodate formations of arbitrarily large number of vehicles. To demonstrate the formation attitude problem, the method is applied to the attitude determination of a simple leader-follower along-track orbit formation. A multiplicative extended Kalman filter is employed to estimate vehicle attitude. In a simulation study using GPS receivers as the attitude sensors, the relative attitude between vehicles in the formation is determined 3 times more accurately than the absolute attitude.
Lightsey, E. Glenn (Texas Univ. Austin, TX, United States)
August 23, 2013
September 1, 2004
Publication: Proceedings from the 2nd International Symposium on Formation Flying Missions and Technologies