Automatic forward motion compensation for micro satellites
South Africa's first micro satellite, SUNSAT, was operational in orbit for 23 months since its NASA-sponsored launch on February 23, 1999. SUNSAT is a graduate student-developed satellite from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Research work is in progress on improving SUNSAT's imager from 15m to 2.5m resolution. This will require the use of Forward Motion Compensation for exposure control. This paper presents Automatic Forward Motion Compensation (FMC) for micro satellites using a exciting new earth sensor that measures the boresight's projection speed on the earth directly with no drift by making use of a series of images. High-resolution imagers will be controlled by this technique to ensure high quality stereo images.