Attitude determination and relative positioning for leo satellites using arrays of gnss sensors

Nandakumaran Nadarajah*, Peter J G Teunissen, Sandra Verhagen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) have become ubiquitous in positioning, guidance and navigation. GNSS-based attitude determination and relative navigation are the important and promising applications. In this contribution we explore the potential of Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite navigation in formation using arrays of GNSS sensors. We consider multiple LEO platforms in close formation, each equipped with multiple GNSS antennas/receivers. Platform processing involves precise attitude determination using the Multivariate Constrained Least-squares AM Biguity Decorrelation Adjustment (MCLAMBDA) method effectively utilizing known antenna geometry in local body frame. Between-platform processing involves estimation of unconstrained baselines between platforms using array-aided relative positioning effectively exploiting the platform antenna geometry in improving between-platform ambiguity resolution and baseline estimates. Finally, we use nonlinear recursive filtering to further improve the attitude angular estimates and between-platform baseline estimates. Our hardware-in-the-loop experiment with space enabled Namuru GNSS receivers shows the potential of stand-alone, unaided, single-frequency attitude determination and relative positioning of LEO satellites.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAG 150 Years - Proceedings of the 2013 IAG Scientific Assembly
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783319246031
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event150th Anniversary with a Scientific Assembly, IAG 2013 - Potsdam, Germany, Potsdam, Germany
Duration: 2 Sep 20136 Sep 2013


Conference150th Anniversary with a Scientific Assembly, IAG 2013
Abbreviated titleIAG 2013


  • Attitude bootstrapping
  • Attitude determination
  • Carrier phase ambiguity resolution
  • Formation flying
  • GNSS


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