Estimation of attitude sensor timetag biases
Abstract
This paper presents an extended Kalman filter for estimating attitude sensor timing errors. Spacecraft attitude is determined by finding the mean rotation from a set of reference vectors in inertial space to the corresponding observed vectors in the body frame. Any timing errors in the observations can lead to attitude errors if either the spacecraft is rotating or the reference vectors themselves vary with time. The state vector here consists of the attitude quaternion, timetag biases, and, optionally, gyro drift rate biases. The filter models the timetags as random walk processes: their expectation values propagate as constants and white noise contributes to their covariance. Thus, this filter is applicable to cases where the true timing errors are constant or slowly varying. The observability of the state vector is studied first through an examination of the algebraic observability condition and then through several examples with simulated star tracker timing errors. The examples use both simulated and actual flight data from the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE). The flight data come from times when EUVE had a constant rotation rate, while the simulated data feature large angle attitude maneuvers. The tests include cases with timetag errors on one or two sensors, both constant and timevarying, and with and without gyro bias errors. Due to EUVE's sensor geometry, the observability of the state vector is severely limited when the spacecraft rotation rate is constant. In the absence of attitude maneuvers, the state elements are highly correlated, and the state estimate is unreliable. The estimates are particularly sensitive to filter mistuning in this case. The EUVE geometry, though, is a degenerate case having coplanar sensors and rotation vector. Observability is much improved and the filter performs well when the rate is either varying or noncoplanar with the sensors, as during a slew. Even with bad geometry and constant rates, if gyro biases are independently known, the timetag error for a single sensor can be accurately estimated as long as its boresight is not too close to the spacecraft rotation axis.
 Publication:

Flight Mechanics/Estimation Theory Symposium 1995
 Pub Date:
 May 1995
 Bibcode:
 1995fmet.symp..379S
 Keywords:

 Attitude Control;
 Attitude Gyros;
 Bias;
 Kalman Filters;
 Matrices (Mathematics);
 Orbital Position Estimation;
 Position Errors;
 Satellite Orbits;
 Satellite Orientation;
 State Estimation;
 State Vectors;
 Time Measurement;
 Covariance;
 Drift Rate;
 Equations Of Motion;
 Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite;
 Gyroscopic Stability;
 Quaternions;
 Satellite Rotation;
 Sensitivity;
 White Noise;
 Astrodynamics