Pixxel Wins iDEX Challenge, to Develop Satellites for Indian Air Force


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

Pixxel made its foray into the Indian defence segment comes after winning a multi-crore grant from MoD’s Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) for iDEX Prime’s Mission DefSpace Challenge. The  SPARK (Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart) grant will equip Pixxel to develop small satellites of up to 150 kgs for electro-optical, infrared, synthetic aperture radar and hyperspectral purposes. The startup already works with National Reconnaissance Office, a US government surveillance body. Recently, Pixxel announced a funds raise of $36 million in a Series B round led by Google.

“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,” said Vivek Virmani, Chief Operating Officer, iDEX-DIO.

Awais Ahmed, CEO, of Pixxel, commented, “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) and Defence Innovation Startup Challenge initiatives.