“This partnership will be pioneering in its deployment of hyperspectral satellite imagery for commercial mining operations. We’re excited to be partnering with Rio Tinto to explore the use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology across their operations at a global scale,” said Pixxel co-founder and CEO, Awais Ahmed. “Moreover, the exponential leap in image quality (50x more detail than existing multispectral satellite imagery) allows Rio Tinto the ability to assess Pixxel’s imagery for monitoring critical mining operations and make key decisions with sustainability in mind.”
Pixxel is building a health monitor for the planet by creating the world’s highest resolution commercial hyperspectral satellite constellation. Co-founded by then 20 year olds Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal in 2019, Pixxel has worked with notable organizations such as the Indian Space Research Organization, NASA JPL, Lockheed Martin, and the US Air Force among other space stalwarts. Pixxel is based in Los Angeles and Bengaluru, India and backed by In-Q-Tel, Lightspeed, Stanford Angels, Omnivore VC, Blume Ventures, growX ventures, Inventus Capital, Ryan Johnson (former President at Planet Labs), Jordan Noone (co-founder of Relativity Space) and others.
In the coming months, Pixxel plans to launch a high resolution hyperspectral satellite, which will capture 50x information compared to common multispectral satellites. Rio Tinto will be assessing the potential of Pixxel’s hyperspectral imagery to help 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.
“Rio Tinto is participating in Pixxel’s Early Adopter Program because we believe that exploration could benefit from more cost-effective and easier access to hyperspectral satellite data”, said Dave Andrews, Head of Exploration at Rio Tinto.