Gyroless Attitude Control of Multi-Body Satellites Using an Unscented Kalman Filter
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This paper presents the design of a state estimator for use in conjunction with a feedback control law for a multi-body satellite in elliptic, medium Earth orbits. The main body of the satellite tracks attitude commands or maintains nadir-pointing, while the second body of the satellite, a solar panel, tracks the sun. Star tracker and gimbal angle measurements are filtered to estimate the spacecraft attitude, angular velocity, gimbal angles, and gimbal rates, using the Unscented Kalman Filter. Rate Integrating gyros are not utilized in this study. Lyapunov function-based feedback control laws using the estimated states are utilized for attitude control and sun-pointing. The performance of the filter for this problem is compared to that of the Extended Kalman Filter. Simulation studies demonstrate that the performance of the Unscented Filter is improved over that of the Extended Kalman Filter when the spacecraft and gimbal angles exhibit large departure motion.
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