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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.

Characterization
56 Days (41 Orbits)
Topography
76 Days (162 Orbits)
Gravity Science
100 Days (369 Orbits)
Elemental Mapping
100 Days (585 Orbits)
This is an artist's sketch of the Psyche Multispectral Imager.

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.

This is an artist's sketch of the Psyche Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer.

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.

 

This is an artist's sketch of the Psyche magnetometer.

Psyche Magnetometer

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.

 

This is an artist's sketch of radio science, showing a spacecraft communicating with Earth

Radio Science

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.

 

This is an artist's sketch of the Psyche Deep Space Optical Communication technology.

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.