Instruments & Science Investigations
The Psyche spacecraft will carry a multispectral imager, a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, and a magnetometer, and will conduct radio science.
56 Days (41 Orbits)
80 Days (169 Orbits)
100 Days (362 Orbits)
100 Days (684 Orbits)
The Psyche Multispectral Imager
The Multispectral Imager provides high-resolution images using filters to discriminate between Psyche’s metallic and silicate constituents. The instrument consists of a pair of identical cameras designed to acquire geologic, compositional, and topographic data. The purpose of the second camera is to provide redundancy for mission-critical optical navigation. The team is based at Arizona State University.
Psyche Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer
The Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer will detect, measure, and map Psyche’s elemental composition. The instrument is mounted on a 6-foot (2-meter) boom to distance the sensors from background radiation created by energetic particles interacting with the spacecraft and to provide an unobstructed field of view. The team is based at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.
The Psyche Magnetometer is designed to detect and measure the remanent magnetic field of the asteroid. It is composed of two identical high-sensitivity magnetic field sensors located at the middle and outer end of a 6-foot (2-meter) boom. The team is based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California Los Angeles.
The Psyche mission will use the X-band radio telecommunications system to measure Psyche’s gravity field to high precision. When combined with topography derived from onboard imagery, this will provide information on the interior structure of Psyche. The team is based at MIT and JPL.
Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC)
The Psyche mission will test a sophisticated new laser communication technology that encodes data in photons (rather than radio waves) to communicate between a probe in deep space and Earth. Using light instead of radio allows the spacecraft to communicate more data in a given amount of time. The DSOC team is based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.