Iron Meteorite Imaging System – Scanner


Arizona State University (Tempe Campus)


Titanium Class (2017-2018)

Student Team

Malik Abduljabbar, Computer Systems Engineering
Noor Aboud, Computer Systems Engineering
Tim Brennan, Engineering Management
Robert Logan, Computer Systems Engineering
Kiran Suresh, Computer Systems Engineering
Rachael Tjahjo, Computer Systems Engineering
Xunkai Wang, Industrial Design

Scientific & Technical Guidance

Dr. Laurence Garvie, Research Professor, ASU Center for Meteorite Studies
Dr. Tim McCoy, Curator-in-Charge, US National Meteorite Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Academic Guidance

Prof. Dean Bacalzo, Assistant Professor, ASU Design School
Dr. Daniel McCarville, Professor of Practice, ASU Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Dr. Ryan Meuth, Lecturer, Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Masudul Quraishi, Graduate 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 scanner to image meteorite samples so that each image has the exact same lighting and image quality.

This image shows line drawings of a design for mounting a scanner on an arm to image meteorite samples.

Design for scanner system.

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.