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.