Dual-listed space intelligence data company Kleos Space (ASX: KSS) has struck two agreements that will see its proprietary technology utilised in order to develop a full spectrum monitoring system for global shipping routes at sea.
The technology effectively improves the ability for public and private sector agencies to track and monitor vessels at sea thereby creating ample commercial opportunities within the geospatial intelligence sector.
On Monday, Kleos confirmed that it had signed a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EarthLab Luxembourg to examine collaboration opportunities in using its RF Reconnaissance and geolocation data for insurance companies.
The partnership intends to harness Kleos’ “multi-satellite Scouting Mission system” in order to form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a “global picture of hidden maritime activity” thereby enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities.
EarthLab general manager Thomas Friederich confirmed that the deal constitutes a part of the Luxembourg company’s development strategy to implement its “fast-data AI-powered platform” to offer advanced analytics and access to new sources of data.
As an indicator for what’s to come, Kleos says its scouting mission system will be the “keystone” for a global high capacity constellation that will be sequentially expanded as the space-powered radiofrequency reconnaissance data provider launches and integrates additional nano-satellites. The maiden launch is scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2019.
Currently, government agencies are struggling to track vessels at sea when the existing automatic identification system is circumvented by smugglers or unauthorised vessels. Meanwhile, environmental agencies are desperate to obtain better monitoring tools of climatic changes as well as data on pollution.
Tracking is often made difficult by unclear imagery, insufficient range and various other deficiencies that are preventing authorities from tracking vessels. Kleos plans to offer a commercial solution based on its first scouting mission, initially made up of four nano-satellites built by GomSpace in Denmark, each the size of a shoebox.
The system also allows for environmental risk factors to be monitored which are essential for insurance companies to assess and mitigate risk related to environmental impacts.
EarthLab was the first European centre established for environment monitoring dedicated to industrial and environmental risk, and Kleos thinks it has the solution that will end up being utilised by a host of companies seeking to obtain a better picture of geospatial risk factors.
As it stands, EarthLab partners with Telespazio France, e-GEOS, POST Luxembourg and the SME HITEC Luxembourg, through its Max-ICS platform – providing earth observation, geo-spatial information and risk assessment data analytics to improve operational and strategic decision making for the insurance, reinsurance and investment fund industries.
“The MoU with EarthLab is a good example of the ability for Kleos data to be used as a valuable confirmation data source,” said Kleos chief executive officer Andy Bowyer.
“This is part of our strategy of commercialising and verifying our satellite data with leading companies over different sectors. Our geolocation and activity-based intelligence data has the ability to provide EarthLab with highly valuable geolocation verification data that will assist in substantiating the correlation and consistency of their other data sources and analytics platforms,” Mr Bowyer said.
Second agreement in two days
In addition to the deal with EarthLab, Kleos signed a second deal on Tuesday with Spire Global, one of the world’s largest space to cloud analytics companies.
Launched in 2018, Spire Maritime says it wants to become the global leader in capturing, mining, refining, and analysing AIS-related data and information.
Kleos and Spire will collaborate to combine Spire AIS data with KLEOS RF data to create a new shared capability to bring safety at sea, otherwise known as “Safety at Sea Collaboration”.
Kleos and Spire have entered into an agreement to collaborate on creating enhanced tools for maritime safety, designed to support and augment tools for governments, maritime agencies, coast guards and multiple organisations with strategic interest in detecting “dark vessels”.
In a statement to the market, Kleos announced that “by filtering with Spires accurate picture of legitimate maritime activity, the Kleos RF activity data rapidly delivers a view of dark maritime activity”.
“The collaboration between Kleos and Spire will provide unprecedented detection of dark vessels and will provide an effective tool for governments, maritime agencies and other organisations with an interest in keeping our seas safe,” said Mr Bowyer.
Over the past six months, Kleos shares have appreciated by over 200% although this past week, the company’s shares slid by 6% to $0.30.