Singularities of Euler and Roll-Pitch-Yaw Representations

Marcelo H. Ang, Vassilios D. Tourassis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Euler and roll-pitch-yaw angles are routinely used to represent the orientation of rigid bodies in aerospace, navigation, and robotics because they minimize the dimensionality of the control problem. Both representations, however, introduce unwarranted mathematical singularities which are identified in this paper. Trajectory-tracking algorithms break down at singularities and cause loss of control. Since mathematical singularities do not reflect physical limitations of orientation, remedial measures can be implemented in the controller.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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