Camera Monitoring Assembly (CMA)

The Camera Monitoring Assembly (CMA) was originally designed for an education and public outreach role on a NASA science mission, but was later procured to fly on a classified earth orbiter mission, to image near-field objects from the spacecraft.

The camera includes two 3-megapixel CMOS color imagers, each with their own optics (narrow and wide fields of view). The wide angle optics utilize a fold mirror to obtain a field of view orthogonal to that of the narrow field lens. Images are processed and JPEG compressed in real-time and buffered to the on-board Flash memory buffer for later readout to the spacecraft. The entire command sequence is automated and executes each time the camera is powered on.

Launch: Classified  Application: Near-field imaging in Earth Orbit Status: Mission Success



  • Includes two optics, wide field (88 x 63 deg) and narrow field (29 x 22 deg)

  • Two 3-Megapixel, CMOS, color image sensors

  • Orthogonal optics views accomplished with fold mirror in WFOV optics

  • 4 Gigabyte NAND Flash (non-volatile) memory buffer

  • 10 Megapixel/s maximum pixel rate (720p @ 10fps)

  • Bayer pattern interpolation using 5 x 5 filter kernel

  • Color space conversion and macroblock conversion for JPEG compression

  • Real-Time JPEG compression

  • Lossless first-difference predictive compression

  • Automated command sequencing at power-on


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