Deterministic relative attitude determination of formation flying spacecraft

Michael S. Andrle, Baro Hyun, John L. Crassidis, Richard Linares

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper studies deterministic relative attitude determination of a formation of vehicles. The results provide an assessment of the accuracy of the deterministic attitude solutions, given statistical properties of the assumed noisy measurements. A formation of three vehicles is considered in which each vehicle is equipped with sensors to provide line-of-sight, and possibly range, measurements between them. Three vehicles are chosen because this is the minimum number required to determine all relative attitudes given minimal measurement information. Three cases are studied. The first determines the absolute (inertial) attitude of a vehicle knowing the absolute positions of the other two. The second assumes parallel beams between each vehicle, and the third assumes non-parallel beams which requires range information to find deterministic solutions. Covariance analyses are provided to gain insight on the stochastic properties of the attitude errors for all three cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479458
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference and Exhibit


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