Attitude Control on SU(2): Stability, Robustness, and Similarities

Marcus Greiff (Corresponding author), Zhiyong Sun, Anders Robertsson

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This letter concerns trajectory tracking control of attitude dynamics configured on SU(2). Inspired by a popular geometric tracking controller on SO(3), differential geometric tools are used to derive both continuous and discontinuous attitude controllers on the SU(2) manifold, relating these to preexisting controllers operating with imaginary quaternion errors. Additionally, a robustness result is given for the controllers on SU(2), which is illustrated by simulation examples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9312964
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Control Systems Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 13, 2020; revised December 1, 2020; accepted December 20, 2020. Date of publication January 5, 2021; date of current version June 23, 2021. This work was supported in part by ELLIIT, and in part by the Swedish Science Foundation (SSF) Project “Semantic Mapping and Visual Navigation for Smart Robots” under Grant RIT15-0038. Recommended by Senior Editor C. Prieur. (Corresponding author: Marcus Greiff.) Marcus Greiff and Anders Robertsson are with the Department of Automatic Control, Lund University, 22354 Lund, Sweden (e-mail:;


  • Attitude control
  • Lyapunov methods
  • nonlinear control systems


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