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Pixxel wins iDEX challenge, to build satellites for Indian Air Force

Bengaluru-based space tech startup Pixxel which has solutions in the hyperspectral earth imaging segment is set to manufacture miniaturised multi-payload satellites for the Indian Air Force after it won an innovation challenge under the Ministry of Defence.

This comes a few months after Moneycontrol had reported how Pixxel was keen to use its hyperspectral imagery satellites for the Indian defence sector. The startup already works with National Reconnaissance Office, a US government surveillance body.

Last month, the startup announced a funds raise of $36 million in a Series B round led by Google.

Pixxel’s foray into the Indian defence segment comes after it won a multi-crore grant from MoD’s Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) for ideX Prime’s Mission DefSpace Challenge.

This (Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart) SPARK grant will equip Pixxel to develop small satellites of up to 150 kgs for electro-optical, infrared, synthetic aperture radar and hyperspectral purposes.

Vivek Virmani, Chief Operating Officer, iDEX-DIO said, “The grant is aimed at developing technologies addressing every stage of a space mission, right from mission planning and manufacturing to satellite data analytics and more.”

Awais Ahmed, CEO, of Pixxel, said, “We are delighted to receive iDEX’s grant and utilize our expertise in building microsatellites in-house to manufacture satellites externally for the first time.”

The SPARK grants are offered to startups selected through the iDEX (Prime) & Defence Innovation Startup Challenge initiatives. CNBCTV18

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