Gyro-free attitude and rate estimation for a small satellite using SVD and EKF

Hajiyev C., Cilden D., SOMOV Y.

AEROSPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.55, pp.324-331, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ast.2016.06.004
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.324-331
  • Keywords: Attitude angles, Magnetometer, Sun sensor, Singular value decomposition, Extended Kalman filter, Angular velocity, DESIGN
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper describes the development of a gyroless attitude determination system that can rely on magnetometer and sun sensor measurements and achieve good accuracy. Vectors coming from the selected sensor data and developed models can be placed in Wahba's problem. The system uses Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) method to minimize the Wahba's loss function and determine the attitude of the satellite. In order to obtain the attitude of the satellite with desired accuracy an extended Kalman filter (EKF) for satellite's angular motion parameter estimation is designed. The EKF uses this attitude information as the measurements for providing more accurate attitude estimates even when the satellite is in eclipse. The "attitude angle error covariance matrix" calculated for the estimations of the SVD method is regarded as the measurement noise covariance for the EKF.