This paper presents tracking strategies for the attitude dynamics of a rigid body that are global on the configuration space SO(3) and semiglobal over the phase space SO(3)×3. It is well known that global attractivity is prohibited for continuous attitude control systems on the special orthogonal group. Such topological restriction has been dealt with either by constructing smooth attitude control systems that exclude a set of zero measure in the region of attraction or by introducing discontinuities in the control input. This paper proposes nonmemoryless attitude control systems that are continuous in time, where the region of attraction guaranteeing exponential convergence completely covers the special orthogonal group. This provides a new framework to address the topological restriction in attitude controls. The efficacy of the proposed methods is illustrated by numerical simulations and an experiment.

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