Optimal linear attitude estimator Academic Article uri icon


  • A new approach for optimal estimation of spacecraft attitude, called Optimal Linear Attitude Estimator (OLAE), is presented here. This method, which is proposed for the case of a single-point real-time estimation, uses the Rodrigues (or Gibbs) vector g, a minimum-element attitude parameterization. The optimality criterion, which does not coincide with the Wahba's constrained criterion, is rigorously quadratic and unconstrained. The only singularity, which occurs when the principal angle is π, is easily avoided by one rotation. When prior attitude information is available (that is, not in the lost-in-space case), the method works in its ideal conditions and becomes very fast. The attitude accuracy tests show that the proposed method provides a precision comparable with those fully complying the Wahba optimality definition. Finally, computational speed tests demonstrate that the proposed method is one of the fastest among the available optimal attitude estimation algorithms.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mortari, D., Markley, F. L., & Junkins, J. L.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000 11:11 AM