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Bengaluru firm building constellation of new-age satellites; 18 to be up by 2024 end

The Times of India logo The Times of India 24-11-2022 Chethan Kumar
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BENGALURU: Pixxel, a Bengaluru-headquartered Space data firm, will launch its Anand satellite on Isro’s PSLV-C54 on Saturday. It has plans for a constellation with a unique hyperspectral capability that can unearth underlying, unseen problems that are invisible to satellites in orbit today.

The firm, as reported by TOI earlier, is looking at 24-30 satellites depending on demand and capacity, not all of which need to be launched at once. And Anand will be a tech-demonstration satellite the company is planning.

Pointing out that existing multispectral satellites that are deployed today are still unable to see some problems with details, Awais Ahmed, founder-CEO, Pixxel, argues that hyperspectral technology is an affordable solution that can fill this gap.

“We are looking at six commercial satellite launches next year and 12 in 2024. By October-November, 2024 we should have 18 commercial satellites in low earth orbit,” Ahmed said.

All 18 will be in the 50-kg class and unique in their ability to provide hundreds of bands of information with global coverage at a very high frequency, making them ideal for disaster relief, agricultural monitoring, energy monitoring and urban planning applications.

By the end of next year Pixxel’s constellation of six satellites will be able to provide global coverage every two days and once they have 24 satellites in orbit, the same will become a daily affair.

“We are looking at a combination of US and Indian launch services for all the satellites. In the US, it will be SpaceX, for their reliability and in India, of course, it will be Isro. We are also closely watching the private launch vehicle segment in India but we will need reliable launch vehicles that are operational, which may take some time,” Ahmed said.

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