Abstract

Rigid bodies are an essential part of multibody systems. As there are six degrees of freedom in rigid bodies, it is natural but also precarious to use three parameters for the displacement and three parameters for the rotation parameters — since there is no singularity-free description of spatial rotations based on three rotation parameters. Standard formulations based on three rotation parameters avoid singularities, e.g. by applying reparameterization strategies during the time integration of the rotational kinematic equations. Alternatively, Euler parameters are commonly used to avoid singularities. State of the art approaches use Lie group methods, specifically integrators, to model rigid body motion without the need for the above mentioned solutions. However, the methods so far have been based on additional information, e.g., the rotation matrix, which has to been computed in each step. The latter procedure is thus difficult to be implemented in existing codes that are based on three rotation parameters. In this paper, we use the rotation vector to model large rotations. Whereby Lie group integration methods are used to compute consistent updates for the rotation vector in every time step. The resulting rotation vector update is finite, while the derivative of the rotation vector in the singularity becomes unbounded. The advantages of this method are shown in an example of a gyro. Additionally, the method is applied to a multibody system and the effects of crossing singularities are presented.

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