Rotations, Transformations, Left Quaternions, Right Quaternions?

  • Renato ZanettiEmail author


This paper surveys the two fundamental possible choices in representing the attitude of an aerospace vehicle: active and passive rotations. The consequences of the choice between the two are detailed for the two most common attitude parameterizations, a three-by-three orthogonal matrix and the quaternion. Successive rotations are also reviewed in this context as well as the attitude kinematic equations.


Rotations Spacecraft attitude Quaternion 



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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering MechanicsThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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