Abstract

In most spacecraft, there is a need to know the craft’s angular rate. Approaches with least squares and an adaptive Kalman filter are proposed for estimating the angular rate directly from the star tracker measurements. In these approaches, only knowledge of the vector measurements and sampling interval is required. The designed adaptive Kalman filter can filter out noise without information of the dynamic model and inertia dyadic. To verify the proposed estimation approaches, simulations based on the orbit data of the challenging minisatellite payload (CHAMP) satellite and experimental tests with night-sky observation are performed. Both the simulations and experimental testing results have demonstrated that the proposed approach performs well in terms of accuracy, robustness, and performance.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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