Kleos Space dispatches micro-satellites to India for launch

Kleos Space scouting mission satellites dispatched India launch ASX KSS
Kleos Space is preparing to launch four of its micro-satellites from Chennai in India.

Space enabled company Kleos Space (ASX: KSS) is preparing to launch four of its micro-satellites and has confirmed that equipment has been shipped to India in preparation for launch.

Kleos’ satellites will launch aboard the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Chennai, India.

In a statement to the market, Kleos declared that its satellites were “mission-ready” and that all final launch preparations were completed.

The satellites are currently in transit to the integration facility where they will undergo a system checkout and mechanical inspection prior to battery charging and fuelling. The satellites will be armed for flight, inserted into their dispensers and finally integrated onto the PSLV launch vehicle, the company said.

The radio frequency reconnaissance data-as-a-service company has previously stated that it intends to launch its satellites into a 37-degree inclination, covering crucial shipping regions for defence and security customers including the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, Australian coast, Southern US coast as well as the East and West African coasts.

“Our independent radio frequency intelligence data is highly attractive to government and security organisations, enabling unprecedented detection of illegal maritime activity, irrespective of whether the vessel is using a broadcast transponder system,” said Kleos Space chief executive officer Andy Bowyer.

Micro-satellite communication

As part of a rideshare deal with collaborator Spire Global, a space to cloud analytics company, Kleos hopes to set up an extensive network of micro-satellites that can communicate with each other as part of a holistic network made available to both private and public sector entities.

According to Kleos, its satellites will detect and geolocate global maritime radio frequency transmissions, even in instances where the mandatory Automatic Identification System (AIS) has been switched off.

The company has stated that its independent maritime intelligence data products will significantly improve detection of illegal activities at sea, including drug and people smuggling, illegal fishing and piracy.

Once launched, Kleos’ micro-satellites will eventually compile a constellation that delivers a global picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when the AIS is circumnavigated, imagery unclear or targets out of patrol range.

“While commercial launch capability has increased dramatically over recent years, launch volatility remains a challenge for all space-based companies. Despite the minor launch delay from December 2019, we are and will continue to work hard to get the satellites operational and generating revenues as quickly as possible,” said Mr Bowyer.

Taking off

As part of its regular company reporting, Kleos has confirmed that it has invoiced just over $630,000 in December 2019 and has also entered into a collaborative agreement with an “undisclosable nation-state” to enhance that country’s maritime geospatial intelligence capabilities.

The agreement represents Kleos’ first government agreement with the sea-bound nation experiencing ongoing challenges monitoring and policing its coast.

Moreover, Kleos has also entered into a channel partner and data integrator agreement with UK geospatial intelligence and analysis company Geollect.

Under the agreement, Geollect will procure and integrate data from Kleos’ satellites as the company attempts to become a global leader in dark vessel tracking capability.

According to the deal terms, Kleos data will be used by Geollect to generate analytical intelligence output and could also be resold under a channel partner element of the agreement.

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