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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2018

Bing Hua, Zhiwen Zhang, Yunhua Wu and Zhiming Chen

The geomagnetic field vector is a function of the satellite’s position. The position and speed of the satellite can be determined by comparing the geomagnetic field vector…

Abstract

Purpose

The geomagnetic field vector is a function of the satellite’s position. The position and speed of the satellite can be determined by comparing the geomagnetic field vector measured by on board three-axis magnetometer with the standard value of the international geomagnetic field. The geomagnetic model has the disadvantages of uncertainty, low precision and long-term variability. Therefore, accuracy of autonomous navigation using the magnetometer is low. The purpose of this paper is to use the geomagnetic and sunlight information fusion algorithm to improve the orbit accuracy.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, an autonomous navigation method for low earth orbit satellite is studied by fusing geomagnetic and solar energy information. The algorithm selects the cosine value of the angle between the solar light vector and the geomagnetic vector, and the geomagnetic field intensity as observation. The Adaptive Unscented Kalman Filter (AUKF) filter is used to estimate the speed and position of the satellite, and the simulation research is carried out. This paper also made the same study using the UKF filter for comparison with the AUKF filter.

Findings

The algorithm of adding the sun direction vector information improves the positioning accuracy compared with the simple geomagnetic navigation, and the convergence and stability of the filter are better. The navigation error does not accumulate with time and has engineering application value. It also can be seen that AUKF filtering accuracy is better than UKF filtering accuracy.

Research limitations/implications

Geomagnetic navigation is greatly affected by the accuracy of magnetometer. This paper does not consider the spacecraft’s environmental interference with magnetic sensors.

Practical implications

Magnetometers and solar sensors are common sensors for micro-satellites. Near-Earth satellite orbit has abundant geomagnetic field resources. Therefore, the algorithm will have higher engineering significance in the practical application of low orbit micro-satellites orbit determination.

Originality/value

This paper introduces a satellite autonomous navigation algorithm. The AUKF geomagnetic filter algorithm using sunlight information can obviously improve the navigation accuracy and meet the basic requirements of low orbit small satellite orbit determination.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Jin Wu, Ming Liu, Chengxi Zhang, Yulong Huang and Zebo Zhou

Autonomous orbit determination using geomagnetic measurements is an important backup technique for safe spacecraft navigation with a mere magnetometer. The geomagnetic

Abstract

Purpose

Autonomous orbit determination using geomagnetic measurements is an important backup technique for safe spacecraft navigation with a mere magnetometer. The geomagnetic model is used for the state estimation of orbit elements, but this model is highly nonlinear. Therefore, many efforts have been paid to developing nonlinear filters based on extended Kalman filter (EKF) and unscented Kalman filter (UKF). This paper aims to analyze whether to use UKF or EKF in solving the geomagnetic orbit determination problem and try to give a general conclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper revisits the problem and from both the theoretical and engineering results, the authors show that the EKF and UKF show identical estimation performances in the presence of nonlinearity in the geomagnetic model.

Findings

While EKF consumes less computational time, the UKF is computationally inefficient but owns better accuracy for most nonlinear models. It is also noted that some other navigation techniques are also very similar with the geomagnetic orbit determination.

Practical implications

The intrinsic reason of such equivalence is because of the orthogonality of the spherical harmonics which has not been discovered in previous studies. Thus, the applicability of the presented findings are not limited only to the major problem in this paper but can be extended to all those schemes with spherical harmonic models.

Originality/value

The results of this paper provide a fact that there is no need to choose UKF as a preferred candidate in orbit determination. As UKF achieves almost the same accuracy as that of EKF, its loss in computational efficiency will be a significant obstacle in real-time implementation.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 93 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 February 2020

Feng Cui, Dong Gao and Jianhua Zheng

The main reason for the low accuracy of magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination is the coarse accuracy of the geomagnetic field model. Furthermore, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The main reason for the low accuracy of magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination is the coarse accuracy of the geomagnetic field model. Furthermore, the geomagnetic field model error increases obviously during geomagnetic storms, which can still further reduce the navigation accuracy. The purpose of this paper is to improve the accuracy of magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination during geomagnetic storms.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination via a measurement differencing extended Kalman filter (MDEKF) is studied. The MDEKF algorithm can effectively remove the time-correlated portion of the measurement error and thus can evidently improve the accuracy of magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination during geomagnetic storms. Real flight data from Swarm A are used to evaluate the performance of the MDEKF algorithm presented in this study. A performance comparison between the MDEKF algorithm and an extended Kalman filter (EKF) algorithm is investigated for different geomagnetic storms and sampling intervals.

Findings

The simulation results show that the MDEKF algorithm is superior to the EKF algorithm in terms of estimation accuracy and stability with a short sampling interval during geomagnetic storms. In addition, as the size of the geomagnetic storm increases, the advantages of the MDEKF algorithm over the EKF algorithm become more obvious.

Originality/value

The algorithm in this paper can improve the real-time accuracy of magnetometer-based autonomous orbit determination during geomagnetic storms with a low computational burden and is very suitable for low-orbit micro- and nano-satellites.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

M.N. Filipski and R. Varatharajoo

This paper aims to present the development and performance evaluation of an attitude and rate estimation algorithm using an extended Kalman filter structure based on a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the development and performance evaluation of an attitude and rate estimation algorithm using an extended Kalman filter structure based on a body‐referenced representation of the state.

Design/methodology/approach

The algorithm requires only geomagnetic field data and can be used as a low‐cost alternative or as a back‐up estimator in the case of attitude sensor failures. The satellite rate is estimated as a part of the filter state and thus no gyroscope is necessary. The assessment of the algorithm performance is realized through a Monte Carlo simulation using a low‐Earth orbit, nadir‐pointing satellite.

Findings

Given some attitude and rate error requirements, the range of admissible initial errors on the filter state and the effect of un‐modelled disturbance torque are determined, along with the achievable attitude and rate accuracies.

Practical implications

Because the simulation set‐up is clearly stated, the results of this evaluation can be used as a benchmark for other estimation algorithms.

Originality/value

The necessary assumptions and approximations used to derive the filter equations are explicitly pointed out for the benefit of the readers. Well‐defined filter initial conditions are used in an extensive series of tests resulting into a unique set of findings.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 82 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Xiaoming Zhang, Chen Lei, Jun Liu, Jie Li, Jie Tan, Chen Lu, Zheng-Zheng Chao and Yu-Zhang Wan

In spite of the vehicle, magnetic field interference can be reduced by some measures and techniques in ammunition design and manufacturing stage, the corruption of the…

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of the vehicle, magnetic field interference can be reduced by some measures and techniques in ammunition design and manufacturing stage, the corruption of the vehicle magnetic field can still reach hundreds to thousands of nanoteslas. Besides, the magnetic field that the ferromagnetic materials generate in response to the strong magnetic field in the vicinity of the body. So, a real-time and accurate vehicle magnetic field calibration method is needed to improve the real-time measurement accuracy of the geomagnetic field for spinning projectiles.

Design/methodology/approach

Unlike the past two-step calibration method, the algorithm uses a linear model to calibrate the magnetic measurement error in real-time. In the method, the elliptical model of magnetometer measurement is established to convert the coefficients of hard and soft iron errors into the parameters of the elliptic equation. Then, the parameters are estimated by recursive least square estimator in real-time. Finally, the initial conditions for the estimator are established using prior knowledge method or static calibration method.

Findings

Studies show the proposed algorithm has remarkable estimation accuracy and robustness and it realizes calibration the magnetic measurement error in real-time. A turntable experiments indicate that the post-calibration residuals approximate the measurement noise of the magnetometer and the roll accuracy is better than 1°. The algorithm is restricted to biaxial magnetometers’ calibration in real-time as expressed in this paper. It, however, should be possible to broaden this method’s applicability to triaxial magnetometers' calibration in real-time.

Originality/value

Unlike the past two-step calibration method, the algorithm uses a linear model to calibrate the magnetic measurement error in real-time and the calculation is small. Besides, it does not take up storage space. The proposed algorithm has remarkable estimation accuracy and robustness and it realizes calibration the magnetic measurement error in real time. The algorithm is restricted to biaxial magnetometers’ calibration in real-time as expressed in this paper. It, however, should be possible to broaden this method’s applicability to triaxial magnetometers’ calibration in real-time.

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Wang Jianqi, Cao Xibin and Sun Zhaowei

The measurement of geomagnetic field can provide a reliable and economical basis for attitude and orbit information of low earth orbiting satellite. Because the earth's…

1200

Abstract

The measurement of geomagnetic field can provide a reliable and economical basis for attitude and orbit information of low earth orbiting satellite. Because the earth's magnetic field is a function of position, and its measurement on the orbit are fully observable, orbit estimation can be obtained using extend Kalman filter (EKF) algorithm. With the assistant of angle velocity information from gyro measurement, attitude estimation can also be obtained. At the same time, gyro drift rate estimation is a part of the filter output. Although orbit and attitude determination are independent of each other, the filter can give the orbit and attitude estimation at the same time. The results of the numerical test show that a signal EKF can estimate both orbit and attitude by using magnetometer and gyro measurement only. The accuracy, usually is sufficient for low earth orbiting satellites.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 75 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2013

Jin Jin, Hexi Baoyin and Junfeng Li

The purpose of this paper is to propose an attitude determination and control scheme for a low‐cost Micro‐satellite with defective inertia. Restricted by the payload…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an attitude determination and control scheme for a low‐cost Micro‐satellite with defective inertia. Restricted by the payload design, the z‐axis inertia of this satellite is larger than the x and y axes, which is unstable for natural attitude dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

An original operation mode is designed to avoid z axis from long‐time pointing to the sun during damping, which avoids some unexpected damage. In attitude determination design, EKF and UKF algorithms are compared on estimation accuracy, convergence time and computation complexity in attitude estimation design, which is referred to determine the final estimation scheme. A DSP‐based hardware solution is achieved and a semi‐physical testing and simulation system is built.

Findings

Simulation results show the 3‐axis stable mode can be built with the proposed scheme, and the unprotected facet of the satellite can be kept away from long‐time pointing to the sun.

Originality/value

The proposed ADCS scheme can be a reference for the future Micro‐satellite programs which share the similar configuration.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 85 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Gang Shi, Xisheng Li, Zhe Wang and Yanxia Liu

The magnetometer measurement update plays a key role in correcting yaw estimation in fusion algorithms, and hence, the yaw estimation is vulnerable to magnetic…

Abstract

Purpose

The magnetometer measurement update plays a key role in correcting yaw estimation in fusion algorithms, and hence, the yaw estimation is vulnerable to magnetic disturbances. The purpose of this study is to improve the ability of the fusion algorithm to deal with magnetic disturbances.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, an adaptive measurement equation based on vehicle status is derived, which can constrain the yaw estimation from drifting when vehicle is running straight. Using this new measurement, a Kalman filter-based fusion algorithm is constructed, and its performance is evaluated experimentally.

Findings

The experiments results demonstrate that the new measurement update works as an effective supplement to the magnetometer measurement update in the present of magnetic disturbances, and the proposed fusion algorithm has better yaw estimation accuracy than the conventional algorithm.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a new adaptive measurement equation for yaw estimation based on vehicle status. And, using this measurement, the fusion algorithm can not only reduce the weight of disturbed sensor measurement but also utilize the character of vehicle running to deal with magnetic disturbances. This strategy can also be used in other orientation estimation fields.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2018

Ting Li, Jinsheng Zhang, Shicheng Wang, Dongyu Li, Zhifeng Lv and Jiangjun Jiang

This study aims to find a novel solution to the calibration of three-axis magnetometers to suppress errors of sensors. The nature of the calibration process is parameter…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to find a novel solution to the calibration of three-axis magnetometers to suppress errors of sensors. The nature of the calibration process is parameter estimation and hence the purpose of the paper is to calculate the error parameters and eliminate sensor errors and obtain the true value of the pure magnetic field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper puts forward a calibration method using an alternative iteration looping optimization (AILO) to estimate the parameters. The proposed method divided the parameters to be estimated into two parts: a portion less than one and the other greater than one. Parameters with different orders of magnitude are calculated respectively, which let one part to be a known quantity and the other part is derived by the known quantity; the derived quantity is used to calculate the known quantity again, and looping iteration multiple times until the iteration termination condition is satisfied.

Findings

The simulation and experimental results indicate that the calibration accuracy is improved at least by two orders by the proposed method compared to the two-step method and the linear decreasing weight particle swarm optimization (LDW-PSO) algorithm which proves the validity of the proposed method.

Practical implications

The proposed method can improve the calibration accuracy of total magnetic field, which provides a reference to the calibration of three-axis magnetometers.

Originality/value

A calibration method based on the AILO is proposed in this paper, which is used to improve the calibration accuracy of the three-axis magnetometer.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Takaya Inamori, Nobutada Sako and Shinichi Nakasuka

This paper aims to present an attitude determination and control system for a nano‐astrometry satellite which requires precise angular rate control. Focus of the research…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an attitude determination and control system for a nano‐astrometry satellite which requires precise angular rate control. Focus of the research is methods to achieve the requirement.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to obtain astrometry data, the satellite attitude should be controlled to an accuracy of 0.05°. Furthermore, attitude spin rate must be controlled to an accuracy of 4×10−7 rad/s during observation. In this paper the following unique ideas to achieve these requirements are introduced: magnetic disturbance compensation and rate estimation using star blurred images.

Findings

This paper presents the feasibility of a high accurate attitude control system in nano‐ and micro‐satellite missions.

Practical implications

This paper presents a possibility of the application of nano‐satellites to remote‐sensing and astronomy mission, which requires accurate attitude control.

Originality/value

Originalities of the paper are the methods to achieve the high accurate attitude control: magnetic disturbance compensation and angular rate estimation using star images.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 83 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

1 – 10 of 36