Almost global finite-time stable observer for rigid body attitude dynamics

Jan Bohn, Amit K. Sanyal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A state observer is proposed for rigid body attitude motion with a given attitude dynamics model. This observer is designed on the state space of rigid body attitude motion, which is the tangent bundle of the Lie group of rigid body rotations in three dimensions, SO(3), and therefore avoids instability due to the unwinding phenomenon seen with unit quaternion-based attitude observers. In the absence of measurement noise and disturbance torques, the observer designed leads to almost global finite-time stable convergence of attitude motion state estimates to the actual states for a rigid body whose inertia is known. Almost global finite-time stability of this observer is shown using a Morse function as part of a Lyapunov analysis; this Morse function has been previously used for almost global asymptotic stabilization of rigid body attitude motion. Numerical simulation results confirm the analytically obtained stability properties of this attitude state observer. Numerical results also show that state estimate errors are bounded in the presence of bounded measurement noise and bounded disturbance torque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479932726
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2014Jun 6 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Aerospace
  • Algebraic/geometric methods
  • Observers for nonlinear systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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