This paper considers an angular velocity minimization method for a satellite antenna. For high speed transmission of science data, a directional antenna with a two-axis gimbal is generally used. When a satellite passes over a ground station while pointing directly at it, the angular velocity of the satellite antenna can increase rapidly due to the gimbal kinematics. The high angular velocity could exceed the dynamic constraint of the antenna. Furthermore, micro vibration induced by high speed antenna rotation during an imaging operation might cause jitter, which can degrade the satellite image quality. To solve this problem, a minimum-velocity antenna motion generation method is proposed. Boundaries of the azimuth and elevation angles of the antenna within an effective beam width are derived using antenna geometry. A minimum-velocity azimuth profile and elevation profile within the boundaries are generated sequentially using a shortest path planning method. For fast and correct generation of the shortest path, a new algorithm called a string nailing algorithm is proposed. A numerical simulation shows that the antenna profile generated by the shortest path planning has a much lower angular velocity than the profiles generated by previous methods. The proposed string nailing algorithm also spends much less computation time than a search-based shortest path planning algorithm to generate almost the same antenna profiles. (C) 2017 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.