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Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control (Astrophysics and Space Science Library)

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Extensive work has been done for many years in the areas of attitude determination, attitude prediction, and attitude control. During this time, it has been difficult to obtain reference material that provided a comprehensive overview of attitude support activities. This lack of reference material has made it difficult for those not intimately involved in attitude functions to become acquainted with the ideas and activities which are essential to understanding the various aspects of spacecraft attitude support. As a result, I felt the need for a document which could be used by a variety of persons to obtain an understanding of the work which has been done in support of spacecraft attitude objectives. It is believed that this book, prepared by the Computer Sciences Corporation under the able direction of Dr. James Wertz, provides this type of reference.

Phis book can serve as a reference for individuals involved in mission planning, attitude determination, and attitude dynamics; an introductory textbook for stu- dents and professionals starting in this field; an information source for experimen- ters or others involved in spacecraft-related work who need information on spacecraft orientation and how it is determined, but who have neither the time nor the resources to pursue the varied literature on this subject; and a tool for encouraging those who could expand this discipline to do so, because much remains to be done to satisfy future needs.

The primary purpose of this book is to provide short descriptions of various aspects of attitude determination, prediction, and control with emphasis on the ground support which presently must be provided. The initial chapters provide the necessary background and describe environment models and spacecraft attitude hardware. The authors then present the fundamentals that are essential to a basic understanding of the activities in this area as well as flight-proven concepts which can be used as a basis for operational state-of-the-art activities or as a stepping stone lo improved processes. In a limited fashion, Chapter 22 presents future activities which affect or are a part of spacecraft attitude support. It is not the intention of this book to advance the state of the art but rather to call attention to the work that has been done in the successful support of spacecraft attitude requirements and to stimulate future thinking.
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