Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Abdelhamid Tayebi


The attitude estimation of rigid body systems has attracted the attention of many researchers over the years. The development of efficient estimation algorithms that can accurately estimate the orientation of a rigid body is a crucial step towards a reliable implementation of control schemes for underwater and flying vehicles.

The primary focus of this thesis consists in investigating various attitude estimation techniques and their applications.

Two major classes are discussed. The first class consists of the earliest static attitude determination techniques relying solely on a set of body vector measurements of known vectors in the inertial frame. The second class consists of dynamic attitude estimation and filtering techniques, relying on body vector measurements as well other measurements, and using the dynamical equations of the system under consideration.

Various attitude estimation algorithms, including the latest nonlinear attitude observers, are presented and discussed, providing a survey that covers the evolution and structural differences of these estimation methods.

Simulation results have been carried out for a selected number of such attitude estimators. Their performance in the presence of noisy measurements, as well as their advantages and disadvantages are discussed.