Space tech start-up Pixxel to launch 36 hyperspectral satellites

Pixxel, a domestic space-technology firm set up to build and operate nanosatellites to collect, monitor and analyse data through imagery, said it would launch a series of satellite constellations that would contain a total of 36 hyperspectral satellites by the end 2023.

“The plan is to have a total of 36 satellites by end of 2023 so that we will be able to give daily hyperspectral coverage everywhere around the globe,” said Awais Ahmed, founder and CEO, Pixxel told The Hindu.

With hyperspectral satellites, we will be able to obtain images with 50 times more information compared with traditional satellite images.’’

Pixxel would be launching its first satellite ‘Anand’ in October this year after it shelved its initial launch plan in February this year due to a technical snag. The company said it has also started working on its second satellite whose launch would be held in December.

“We will have 10 satellites, including two demo satellites, up by end of 2022. Under the Firefly range, we will launch multiple constellations of satellites that will support several applications across diverse industries,’’ Mr. Ahmed said.

On the increased demand for hyperspectral imagery he said, there was a lot of pent up demand in the global market for hyperspectral imagery across domains, including agriculture, energy (oil leakage), mining, environment, forestry and climate (poisonous gases, forest fires), urban monitoring/development, seed and fertilizer (soil conditions, growth patterns) etc.

“We have a large number of customers globally who are already waiting for our satellites to come up. Currently, they are using aeroplane or drone-based imagery. In India, we are also seeing interest in the government sector with Karnataka, Telangana and Gujarat seeming very open to these technologies,’’ he added.

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