Global optimal attitude estimation using uncertainty ellipsoids

Amit K. Sanyal, Taeyoung Lee, Melvin Leok, N. Harris McClamroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


A deterministic attitude estimation problem for a rigid body in a potential field, with bounded attitude and angular velocity measurement errors is considered. An attitude estimation algorithm that globally minimizes the attitude estimation error is obtained. Assuming that the initial attitude, the initial angular velocity and measurement noise lie within given ellipsoidal bounds, an uncertainty ellipsoid that bounds the attitude and the angular velocity of the rigid body is obtained. The center of the uncertainty ellipsoid provides point estimates, and the size of the uncertainty ellipsoid measures the accuracy of the estimates. The point estimates and the uncertainty ellipsoids are propagated using a Lie group variational integrator and its linearization, respectively. The attitude and angular velocity estimates are optimal in the sense that the sizes of the uncertainty ellipsoids are minimized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-245
Number of pages10
JournalSystems and Control Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Deterministic estimation
  • Global attitude representation
  • Uncertainty ellipsoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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