Pixxel Promises World's Highest Resolution Satellite Images

Pixxel Promises World's Highest Resolution Satellite Images

With plans to launch the world's highest resolution earth imaging satellite, Pixxel emerged from stealth mode on Wednesday.

The constellation — once deployed — will give 24-hour global coverage to generate data that could be used by agriculture companies and governments to monitor environmental conditions on Earth.

"We are very excited to finally speak about what we are building at Pixxel," said co-founder and CEO Awais Ahmed in a statement. "This enables us to capture some of the richest imagery that's ever been beamed down to earth."

Backed by Omnivore VC, Techstars and a roster of previous investors, the Los Angeles and Bangalore-based startup also announced a $7.3 million seed round, an extension of its $5 million boost last August. The two-year-old company got its start through the Techstars Starburst Space accelerator.

Using hyperspectral imaging, the startup said its satellites can cheaply collect more detailed images to help experts working across agriculture, energy and environmental conservation. The data will be aimed at governments, as well as agriculture and oil companies that need to keep an eye on environmental factors impacting their land.

The imaging is designed to pick up on issues "invisible to today's satellites," the company said, allowing it to flag pest infestations and crop diseases, or detecting oil spills and gas leaks. The first satellite is slated to launch and orbit within the next few months.

"These hyperspectral satellites will allow society to tackle many of humanity's most pressing issues," Ahmed said. "Empowering humans to see the earth like never before."

The company has so far partnered with the Indian Space Research Organization, the U.S. Air Force and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.