About Skewray Research

A skewray is a ray that has non-zero angular momentum about the symmetry axis of an optical system. Rather than remaining embedded in a plane, a skewray corkscrews through the system along a spiral.

Brian M. Sutin founded Skewray Research, LLC as a sole proprietor in 2003 to provide consulting in optical systems.


Brian M. Sutin, Ph.D.


Brian M. Sutin consults in system engineering, system architecture, optical systems, and control systems for the aerospace, astronomy, and consumer electronics industries.

After graduating from University of California San Diego in applied mathematics, Brian began his career as a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland, writing calibration software for an astronomical millimeter-wave interferometer. He then attended University of California Santa Cruz to get a doctorate in Astrophysics. For his post-doctoral position, Brian worked with Harland Epps at Lick Observatory on various astronomical spectrometers for the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. He then moved to the Carnegie Institution for Science, where he was in charge of the optics for the IMACS spectrometer now on the Magellan Telescope in Chile.

After the IMACS project completed, Brian went to Hamilton Sundstrand (now UTC Aerospace Systems) as a Space Instrument Systems Engineer, to work on the system engineering and optical design of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) space satellite. Once OCO was delivered to NASA, Brian went on to perform system engineering for various space, land, and undersea mass spectrometer projects.

Brian now works for Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Formulation Systems Engineer. He has worked on missions observing the Earth, astrophysics space missions, and probes to Venus, the asteroid belt, Saturn, and Neptune.


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ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8690-4830

Current Projects:

  • MAIA – measure the impact of aerosols on human health from space
  • Team XJPL’s rapid mission design team
  • VAMOS – detecting quakes on Venus from orbit
  • CMBPol – measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background from the big bang

Past Projects: