Fast particle filtering for attitude and angular-rate estimation from vector observations

Avishy Carmi, Yaakov Oshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Extending and consolidating the recently introduced quaternion particle Alter for a spacecraft's attitude estimation and its companion, the angular-rate particle Alter, this paper presents a novel algorithm for the estimation of both a spacecraft's attitude and angular rate from vector observations. Belonging to the class of Monte Carlo sequential methods, the new estimator is a particle Alter that uses approximate numerical representation techniques for performing the otherwise exact time propagation and measurement update of potentially non-Gaussian probability density functions in inherently nonlinear systems. The paper develops the filter and its implementation in the case of a low-Earth-orbit spacecraft, acquiring noisy Geomagnetic field measurements via a three-axis magnetometer. The new estimator copes with the curse of dimensionality related to the particle filtering technique by introducing innovative procedures that permit a significant reduction in the number of particles. This renders the new estimator computationally efficient and enables its implementation with a remarkably small number of particles (relative to the dimension of the state). The results of a simulation study demonstrate the viability and robustness of the new filter and its fast convergence rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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