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Cloud sensing provides the ability to point the optical axis of the satellite remote sensing instrument to cloud-free areas on the basis of previously acquired cloud cover information. In this way the effective imaging capacity of the mission can be improved. The cloud cover information may be acquired in real-time for optimal performance. This paper explores a number of real-time cloud sensing concepts. The performance of the different options is assessed by analysis and simulation. It is concluded that the imaging capacity of a high-resolution optical remote sensing satellite can be improved by up to 100%.