Near-IR Detector for Optical Comms – ASU – A

“Psyche DSOC Laser Communications Team”


Arizona State University (ASU)


Tungsten Class (2023 – 2024)


Andi Swirbul,
Andrew Munroe, Earth and Space Exploration (Astrophysics)
Madison Hedges, Earth and Space Exploration (Astrophysics)
Nina McGarry,
Peyton Idleman,
Zachery Ty Butler, Earth and Space Exploration (Exploration Systems Design) (BS)


Dr. Nat Butler
Dr. Cassie Bowman


Dr. Tracee L. Jamison-Hooks,
TA, Libby Berkhout


Our project is two-fold. The primary goal is to measure the Psyche laser profile to confirm narrow laser beam communications over astronomical distances. This will be done by measuring the laser flux at a fixed distance (ASU). Our secondary objective disseminating this experience and processes to amateur astronomers. To achieve this, we hope to create an interactive website or webpage that serves as a platform for amateur astronomers interested in Comms. This platform will include a comparison of cost-effectiveness for sensor building vs buying, detailed guidelines for the construction of our IR observation package and Psyche detection, as well as regular blogs and updates about the project. We additionally hoped to include a feedback section to collect suggestions from our audience on how to improve our project.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of the Arizona State University Capstone Course “SES 410”. 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.