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ATTITUDE REPRESENTATION

Attitude cannot be represented by vector in 3-dimensional space, like


position or angular velocity, even though attitude is a 3-dimensional
quantity.
Attitude is always specified as a rotation relative to a base, or reference
frame, just as vector position is specified as a displacement from a
reference point. However there is often confusion in the direction:

Rotation of the body frame to align with the reference frame

Rotation of the reference frame to align with the body frame


Rotations are described by various means

Direction Cosines Matrix (DCM)

Euler Angles

Euler Axis/Angle

Quaternion

Rodriquez parameters, Gibbs vector, etc.

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

DIRECTION COSINES MATRIX

The DCM transforms a vector representation from one coordinate frame to


another, or rotates vectors from one attitude to another.

r B

T B r A
A

r2 A

or

The DCM can be formed by dot products of unit vectors of two frames

T B

iB iA

jB i A

k B iA

iB j A

iB k A

jB k A or

k B k A

jB j A
kB jA

R 2
1

Note that if we set A=1 and B=2, T


B
A

R 2 r1 A
1

i2 i1

i2 j1

i2 k1

j2 i1
j2 j1
j2 k1

k2 i1

k 2 j1

k 2 k1

1 T
2

The nine elements are not independent because the DCM must be orthonormal

T B T A T A T B
A

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

=I

EULER ANGLES
Euler Angles are a particular sequence of three rotations about particular
reference frame axes. Both the sequence and the axes must be
specified to clearly define the attitude (rotation) of interest.

The same angle values used in a different sequence, or about different


axes, results in a different attitude

Example: Yaw-Pitch-Roll Euler angle sequence rotating the reference


frame (call it frame 1) into the body frame:
1) - Yaw the reference frame about its k-axis with angle y to
produce the 2-frame
2) - Pitch about the new j-axis with angle to produce the 3-frame
3) - Roll about the new i-axis with angle to produce the body
frame B
The resulting rotation matrix rotating 1-frame vectors v into their
corresponding body frame position is given by

vB 1 = R B v1 1
1

where

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

R B R( )B R( )3 R(y )2
1

EULER ANGLE EXAMPLE


Yaw,Pitch,Roll (k,j,i) Sequence
i3

Reference Frame is Frame 1

pitch

i1

j2
j1

yaw

i2

j2,j3

i2

k1,k2

k2
i3,iB

Rotate about k1
(angle y

k3

Rotate about j2
(angle
roll

Rotate about i3 j3
(angle

Body frame is Frame B

jB

k3

kB

DCMs FOR GENERAL EULER ROTATIONS

1
R 2 0

0
c
s
i

j
2

1
R 2 0

s
c

1
R 2 s

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

0
1
0
s
c
0

0
j
0

Transformation Matrix for Euler Yaw,Pitch,Roll (k,j,i)

c cy

1
R321 y , , B c sy s s cy

s sy c s cy

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

c sy
c cy s s sy
s cy c s sy

s c

c c

EULERS THEOREM (EULER AXIS/ANGLE REP.)

Any rigid body rotation can be expressed by a single rotation about a


fixed axis.
The rotation matrix [R] is given in terms of a unit vector along the Euler
axis e (a unit vector), and the angle,

R n, 2 cos I + 1-cos e1 e 1 sin [[e]1 ]


1

cos

1
2

tr R 1
1

R23 R32

1
R31 R13
e1
2sin

R12 R21

Shuster, M., "Survey of Attitude Representations," Journal of Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1993. pp. 439-517.

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

NOTATION
r b r B b r1b1 r2b2 r3b3
T

Vector Dot Product

Vector Cross Product

r b [[b ]B ] r B
B

Cross Product Matrix for vector

0
[[b ]B ] b3

b2
c = cos()

s = sin()

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

b3
0
b1

b2
b1

where

b B

b1
b2

b3

QUATERNION REPRESENTATION OF ATTITUDE

Only one redundant element


requiring use of a constraint | q | = 1
Only ambiguity is a sign
Can be combined easily to produce
successive rotations
DCM computation given by multiply
& add of quaternion elements (no
trig functions)
Propagation requires integration of
only 4 kinematic equations
Widely used because of simplicity of
operations and small dimension,
together with lack of representation
singularity

q1

q2
q
q3

q4

Shuster, M., "Survey of Attitude Representations," Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1993. pp. 439-517.

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

QUATERNION REPRESENTATION
Given Euler Axis e and angle

q1

q1
q2

q q2 sin e, q4 cos , q
2
2
q3


q3
q4
q q4 1 (q must be constrained to unit length)
2

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

Quaternion versus Rotation Matrix (DCM_

R(q , q4 ) q4 q
2

I 2 q q T 2q4 [[q ]]

q12 q2 2 q3 2 q4 2

R ( q ) 2 q1q2 q4 q3

2 q3 q1 q4 q2

2 q1q2 q4 q3
q1 q2 q3 q4
2

2 q3 q2 q4 q1

2 q1q3 q4 q2

2 q2 q3 q4 q1

2
2
2
2
q1 q2 q3 q4

1
1 trR ,
2
1
1
1
q1
R

R
,
q

R
,
q

23 32 2
31 13 3
R12 R21
4q4
4q4
4q4

trR 4q4 1, q4
2

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

Quaternion Composition (Successive Rotations)

RCA RCB RBA

q3 C q2 C q1 B
A

q3 C q1 B q2 C
A

q4

q3
q
q2

q1
P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

(Note the swapped order)

q3

q2

q4

q1

q1

q4

q2

q3

q1

q2

q3

q4

Kinematics
Relationship between angular velocity and attitude representations

d R (t )
dt

R(t )[[ t ]]

q4 (t )

d q (t ) 1 q3 (t )
=
dt
2 q2 (t )

q1 (t )

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

q3 (t )
q4 (t )
q1 (t )
q2 (t )

q2 (t )
1 (t )
q1 (t )

2 (t )
q4 (t )

3 (t )
q3 (t )

SMALL ANGLE APPROXIMATIONS

For a small angles ,

sin( ~ , cos( ~ 1

The rotation DCM for a sequence of three small Euler angles is:

1
R I [[ ]] 3
2

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

3
1

2
1
1

ATTITUDE DETERMINATION PROBLEM

Use standard attitude sensors such as a star tracker or sun sensor


Sensor axes are calibrated with respect to body-fixed reference frame
(B)
Direction to reference object (sun or star) is found in an inertial frame (I)
using star catalog, ephemeris prediction, etc.
Direction to reference object is also measured by the on-board sensors
and expressed in the (B) frame.
Now have one or more unit vectors to objects expressed in both (I) and
in (B). Note that a minimum of 2 independent objects is required to
determine 3-D attitude
Calculate the attitude DCM

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

ATTITUDE DETERMINATION PROBLEM

Given measurements of two unit vectors (pointing to two objects) in a


body frame and a reference frame

v1 A , v1 B , v2 A , v2 B

How can the DCM representing attitude be determined? T must


simultaneously satisfy

v1 B T B v1 A
A

and

v2 B T B v2 A
A

Deterministic method - TRIAD

Use two of the measured vectors to define a set of three orthogonal


unit vectors in the two frames.

Create a matrix equation from the three vector equations and use
this to solve for the attitude DCM

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

DETERMINISTIC ATTITUDE DETERMINATION

Given unit vectors

Construct

v1 A , v1 B , v2 A , v2 B

v1 A v2 A
r1 v1 A , r2
, r3 r1 r2
v1 A v2 A
v1 B v2 B
s1 v1 B , s2
, s3 s1 s2
v1 B v2 B
M R r1 r2 r3 M s s1 s2 s3

T B M s M RT
A

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006

Transformation DCM estimate


(note rotation DCM RA is the
B
transpose of this)

Attitude Representations and Attitude Determination


REFERENCES

Shuster, M., "Survey of Attitude Representations," Journal of the


Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1993. pp. 439-517.

Shuster, M. D. and Oh, S. D., "Three-Axis Attitude Determination from


Vector Observations," Journal of Guidance and Control, Vol. 4, No. 1,
Jan.-Feb. 1981, pp. 70-77.

Wertz, J. R., ed. Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control, Kluwer


Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 1978.

P. Axelrad, D. Lawrence ASEN3200 Spring 2006