Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach

Student Status



Graduate Student Works

Advisor Name

Dr. Riccardo Bevilacqua


This paper presents an experimental activity aimed at assessing performance of techniques for inertia and attitude parameters estimation of an uncooperative but known space target. The adopted experimental set-up includes a scaled-down 3D printed satellite mock-up, a spherical air bearing and a low-cost solid-state LIDAR. The experimental facility also comprises a motion capture system to obtain a benchmark of the pose (position and attitude) parameters and an ad-hoc designed passive balancing system to keep the centre of mass as close as possible to the centre of rotation. The LIDAR-based 3D point clouds, collected while the target rotates on the spherical air-bearing to reproduce the rotational dynamics of an almost-free rigid body, are processed to obtain pose and angular velocity estimate. Those data are used to determine the inertia properties of the target by solving a linear system based on the integral form of Euler equations. Performance and robustness of the algorithm for attitude and inertia properties estimation are assessed considering both the inertia benchmark provided by a high-fidelity CAD model of the target and the pose solution obtained from the motion tracking system and its extrinsic calibration with respect to the LIDAR.

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date


Publication Title

Acta Astronautica




Grant or Award Name

The stay of Alessia Nocerino at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University was financially supported by UniNA and Compagnia di San Paolo, in the frame of Programme STAR PLUS. The research activity was financially supported by the Advanced Autonomous Multiple Spacecraft laboratory of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.