Iron Meteorite Imaging System – Camera and Lightbox


Arizona State University (Tempe Campus)


Titanium Class (2017 – 2018)

Student Team

Tim Brennan, Engineering Management
Shelby Liu, Industrial Design
Cesar Marin Margaillan, Computer Systems Engineering
Khoi Nguyen, Computer Systems Engineering
Shade T., Computer Systems Engineering
Rosalba Vargas Alarcon, Computer Systems Engineering
Albert Zhang, Computer Systems Engineering

Academic Guidance

Dean Balcazo, Assistant Professor, The Design School
Dr. Daniel McCarville, Professor of Practice, Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Dr. Ryan Meuth, Lecturer, Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Masudul Quraishi, Grad Service Assistant, Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Project Description

To prepare for scientific investigations at Psyche, meteorite experts from ASU and the Smithsonian Institution seek an imaging system to help determine the bulk chemical compositions of iron meteorites from their optical images. Meteorite experts use their knowledge to recognize the inclusions in meteorites based primarily on color, texture, and reflectivity. A major challenge of this project is to translate this human knowledge to an automated recognition system the can replicate the human expertise. To work towards this goal, this team designed and built a prototype imaging system based on a camera and lightbox to image meteorite samples so that each image has the exact same lighting and image quality.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Arizona State University Capstone Courses “CSE 423-424,” “IEE 485-486,” and “IND 460-461.” The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission ( “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.