I have an application where I need to convert an orientation from NED - given a WGS84 latitude and longitude - to ECEF. I have yaw, pitch and roll as Tait Bryan angles (XYZ) relative to the local tangent plane but I need this in geocentric format.

Initially I was reading a few white papers on ECEF coordinate conversion but all those I could find only seem to cover position and heading. I'm able to calculate both position and heading correctly but I'm not sure what is is involved to transform pitch and roll. Roll is particularly tricky as a standard 3D velocity vector doesn't include a roll component.

My gut feeling is the solution is going to involve converting to quaternions or DCM and coming up with an appropriate transformation matrix but I haven't been able to find any examples of this being done. Any advice would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Found the solution to this in an Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation paper: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA484864

See Section 4.3 on 'ECEF Coordinates and Heading-Pitch-Roll Conversion' for the algorithm and some worked examples.


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