Title: Two Studies of High Performance Attitude Determination Using GPS: Generalizing Wahba's Problem for High Output Rates and Evaluation of Static Accuracy Using a Theodolite
Author(s): Clark E. Cohen, H. Stewart Cobb and Bradford W. Parkinson
Published in: Proceedings of the 5th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1992)
September 16 - 18, 1992
Albuquerque, NM
Pages: 1197 - 1203
Cite this article: Cohen, Clark E., Cobb, H. Stewart, Parkinson, Bradford W., "Two Studies of High Performance Attitude Determination Using GPS: Generalizing Wahba's Problem for High Output Rates and Evaluation of Static Accuracy Using a Theodolite," Proceedings of the 5th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1992), Albuquerque, NM, September 1992, pp. 1197-1203.
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Abstract: The sub-centimeter relative positioning capability of GPS is now being applied as a practical means of sensing attitude. Pointing accuracy and throughput (solution output rate) are key performance issues in attitude determination using GPS. This paper studies both of these elements. Because attitude determination is inherently a real-time application of GPS , computational cfliciency is the key to obtaining maximum throughput for GPS receiver hardware. New algorithms based on attitude determination using vector observations (Wahba’s Problem) offer the fastest known way to process GPS carrier phase into full attitude solutions. The vector observations methodology obtains the maximum likelihood estimate to this non-linear cost function to full accuracy with unprecedented speed. This result paves the way to achieving the highest possible attitude solution output rates. Absolute pointing accuracy is the other side of the high performance equation. The physical orientation of an antenna array was determined using a high-precision theodolite and standard surveying techniques. This orientation was then compared to the attitude determined from a Trimble VECTOR GPS receiver during a series of overnight runs in a realistic, less-than-ideal multipath environment. To add a further element of realism into the testing, no ground planes were used on the antennas.