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Pixxel selects Dawn Aerospace propulsion for hyperspectral imaging constellation

Feb 9

Dawn Aerospace announced it is providing satellite propulsion to hyperspectral imaging company Pixxel. An emerging leader in cutting-edge Earth-imaging technology, Pixxel is building a health monitor for the planet through a constellation of hyperspectral imaging small satellites.

“We’re proud to utilize Dawn’s propulsion system on our mission to provide the world’s best hyperspectral Earth-imaging satellites,” said Awais Ahmed, co-founder and CEO of Pixxel. “Our goal is to launch a constellation that acts as a global health monitor for the planet. With Dawn’s help, we’re one step closer to achieving that to build a healthier planet.”

Pixxel’s constellation will serve industries like agriculture, resources, energy, and sustainability, providing valuable insights into productivity and environmental management. Compared to standard multispectral imaging, Pixxel’s hyperspectral technology can obtain 50 times more information by capturing exact chemical signatures, offering more accurate solutions to previously unsolvable issues, and is available at a lower cost than existing technology. As a result, Pixxel’s hyperspectral imaging has the power to help with pressing issues, such as flagging pest infestations and crop diseases, tackling air and water pollution levels, and detecting oil spills and gas leaks.

“Given the passion both Dawn and Pixxel share for using space for the greater good, we couldn’t be prouder to support this talented team,” said Stefan Powell, Dawn Co-founder & CEO. “We see low-cost, reliable propulsion systems as a key part in enabling the unprecedented insights space can offer us by looking back at Earth.”

Pixxel recently announced an early adoption partnership with global mining company Rio Tinto to leverage the highest resolution hyperspectral satellite imagery in Rio Tinto’s exploration activities. The global mining company plans to use this technology to reduce the disturbance footprint of exploration activities, monitor the operational and environmental performance of active mining operations, and monitor biodiversity and vegetation health around closed sites. Other Pixxel customers cover the mining, oil & gas, and agriculture industries.

In the coming months, Pixxel’s first two satellites will launch with plans to have a fully operational hyperspectral constellation in space by December 2023.  

Dawn propulsion modules will enable Pixxel satellites to maneuver into their desired orbit post a rideshare-launch, allow for in-space management of the satellites, and for deorbiting the satellites responsibly and the end of their life.

In the last 12 months, Dawn has had several propulsion systems launched to space with a total of 21 thrusters, powering a variety of satellites, including CubeSats and OTV’s. At the end of 2021, the company announced it had over one hundred of its 1N and 20N “green” thrusters in production, with this projected to triple over the next twelve months.



Australasia Satellite Forum 2022

14 & 15 June 2022

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