A new approach to the solution of free rigid body motion for attitude manoeuvers

Daniele Pagnozzi, Craig David Maclean, James Biggs

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A Hamiltonian formulation of free rigid body motion defined on the Special Unitary Group SU(2) is used to integrate the system to obtain a convenient quaternion representation for attitude engineering applications. Novel content of this paper concerns applying a modern approach, based on geometric control theory to obtain the kinematic solution in an elegant and compact form. Moreover, this integration leads to an attitude representation which is not Euler-angle-like, thus
enhancing its applicability (e.g. to attitude motion design).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2013
EventEuropean Control Conference, ECC 2013 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 17 Jul 201319 Jul 2013


ConferenceEuropean Control Conference, ECC 2013


  • rigid body motion
  • Hamiltonian system
  • special unitary group
  • attitude engineering
  • attitude motion design


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