Online Attitude Determination of A Passively Magnetically Stabilized Spacecraft

Abstract

An online attitude determination filter is introduced that is capable of estimating the attitude of a massively magnetically stabilized spacecraft to within about five degrees accuracy using only an estimate of the solar vector. This filter enables nano satellites to perform onboard attitude determination even when no dedicated attitude sensors are installed, instead relying only on the electrical currents from body mounted solar panels. The online attitude filter is applied in post processing to orbital data from NASA Ames Research Center’s O/OREOS and the University of Michigan’s RAX-1 spacecraft.
Authors: Roland Burton , Stephen Rock, John Springmann, and James Cutler
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