Title: Space Flight Tests of Attitude Determination Using GPS
Author(s): Clark E. Cohen, E. Glenn Lightsey, William A. Feess, Bradford W. Parkinson
Published in: Proceedings of the 6th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1993)
September 22 - 24, 1993
Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, UT
Pages: 625 - 632
Cite this article: Cohen, Clark E., Lightsey, E. Glenn, Feess, William A., Parkinson, Bradford W., "Space Flight Tests of Attitude Determination Using GPS," Proceedings of the 6th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1993), Salt Lake City, UT, September 1993, pp. 625-632.
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Abstract: Preliminary space flight results of attitude determination using GPS are presented from a spacecraft in low Earth orbit. Relative position measurements accurate to the sub-centimeter level are made among multiple GPS antennas mounted on the space vehicle. A Trimble Navigation TANS Quadrex (a GPS receiver specially adapted for attitude determination by Stanford University) is used as a differential carrier phase sensor for the flight. Four GPS antennas are mounted on the zenith face of RADCAL, a polar orbiting, gravity-gradient-stabilized Air Force Space Test Program satellite, built by Defense Systems, Inc. The four antennas are equally spaced about the perimeter of the 30 inch diameter cylindrical spacecraft bus. The Quadrex receiver measures the phase of the L-band GPS carrier (1575 MHz) at each of up to four antennas for up to six GPS satellites simultaneously. From these measurements, an initial assessment of attitude determination in space is performed in post-processing. For RADCAL, the attitude solution is greatly over- determined. In a preliminary evaluation of system performance, the system accuracy is determined through measurement self-consistency. Analysis of the attitude motion in the context of a gravity gradient dynamic model yields further insight into the system performance.