Abstract

Using polarized light sensors to obtain only two-dimensional heading information does meet actual needs in navigation. Instead, an alternative method is proposed that uses the positional information of the Sun and geomagnetic information to calculate the three-dimensional attitude of a vehicle. First, the theoretical background of the polarization mode of skylight is described, and the scheme in using the atmospheric polarization pattern to calculate the solar position is presented. Second, the traditional three-axis attitude-determination (TRIAD) algorithm that exploits the solar position vector and the geomagnetic vector to obtain the three-dimensional attitude and the optimized TRIAD algorithm are introduced. Static and turntable experiments are described that verify the accuracy of the attitude calculation. Experimental results show that when using the optimized TRIAD algorithm, the root mean square errors for the roll angle, pitch angle, and heading angle are 0.1225°, 0.668°, and 1.0234°, respectively. This means that the optimized TRIAD algorithm performs significantly better than the traditional TRIAD algorithm and demonstrates that using the solar position and the geomagnetic information to obtain the three-dimensional attitude of the vehicle is very effective.

© 2022 Optical Society of America

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