GPS-Based Attitude Determination of a Rotating Spacecraft Using Single Antenna Subject to Phase Wind-up

Brandon Weaver, Tony Bogner, J. Arnold Soltz, Jason Rife

Abstract: This paper extends the applicability of a method, previously introduced by Soltz, for determining attitude of a rotating spacecraft by using carrier phase measurements from a single antenna offset from the spin axis. When first introducing the method, Soltz assumed that the estimation process was insensitive to phase windup. Here we revisit this assumption and show it is valid under specific circumstances: a purely rotating spacecraft and an ideal right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) antenna with its boresight axis aligned to the spacecraft spin axis. A more general treatment of spacecraft motion and antenna modeling reveals both why phase wind-up is implicitly handled in these circumstances and how the algorithm might be modified to apply in other circumstances.
Published in: Proceedings of the 32nd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2019)
September 16 - 20, 2019
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, Florida
Pages: 1164 - 1171
Cite this article: Weaver, Brandon, Bogner, Tony, Soltz, J. Arnold, Rife, Jason, "GPS-Based Attitude Determination of a Rotating Spacecraft Using Single Antenna Subject to Phase Wind-up," Proceedings of the 32nd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2019), Miami, Florida, September 2019, pp. 1164-1171. https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.17081
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