Table of Contents
International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2010, Article ID 172679, 6 pages
Research Article

Vision Autonomous Relative Positioning and Orientating Algorithm for Distributed Micro/Nanosatellite Earth Observation System Based on Dual Quaternion

1School of Surverying and Land Information Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, JiaoZuo 454003, China
2School of Geology Engineering and Geomatics, Chang’an University, Xi’an, 710054, China

Received 25 February 2010; Revised 28 September 2010; Accepted 11 November 2010

Academic Editor: Marco Gianinetto

Copyright © 2010 Kezhao Li. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is a valid way to analyze the space object real-time movement by using distributed satellite earth observation system, which can provide the stereographic image through the collaboration of the satellites. That relative position and pose estimation is one of the key technologies for distributed micro/nanosatellite earth observation system (DMSEOS). In this paper, on the basis of the attitude dynamics of spacecrafts and the theory of machine vision, an autonomous positioning and orientating algorithm for distributed micro/nanosatellites based on dual quaternion and EKF (extended Kalman filtering) is proposed. Firstly, how to represent a line transform unit using dual quaternion is introduced. Then, the feature line point of the line transform unit is defined. And then, on the basis of the attitude dynamics of spacecrafts and the theory of EKF, we build the state and observation equations. Finally, the simulations show that this algorithm is an accurate valid method in positioning and orientating of distributed micro/nanosatellite earth observation system.