Kleos Space prepares to launch its nanosatellite mission on the ASX

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By George Tchetvertakov - 
Kleos Space ASX KSS Nanosatellite IPO Magna Parva

Nanosatellite company Kleos Space (ASX: KSS) intends to list on the ASX next month and proposes to launch a multi-satellite network aimed at collecting data from radio transmission devices aboard air, marine and land vehicles.

The capital raised is expected to be around A$11 million at A$0.20 per share, and if successful, will further expand Australia’s nanosatellite market presence, which already includes the likes of Sky and Space Global (ASX: SAS) who recently raised A$15 million as part of a multifaceted capital raising in March this year.

Kleos has a rather different market approach to SAS and rather than targeting consumer-focused telcos, is instead aiming high for tier 1 customers such as intelligence agencies and direct relationships with defence ministries among both developed and less developed countries.

The company is a spin-off from UK-company Magna Parva, an international R&D consultancy with multiple projects aimed at private-sector space projects. Magna Parva was founded by experienced space engineers and entrepreneurs Andrew Bowyer and Miles Ashcroft and has been developing engineering services solutions for the space industry since 2005, including for the European Space Agency.

Product launch

One of its main focus points for commercial traction will be within the “Five Eyes” system, otherwise known as the “the Intelligence Alliance of the Anglosphere”.

The Five Eyes alliance is widely regarded as the world’s most significant intelligence alliance including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The intelligence sharing network was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War and served as the backbone for intelligence sharing amongst the world’s most geopolitically influential countries.

Being able to connect its infrastructure into the broader Five Eyes network would be a significant achievement for Kleos and serve as a substantial operational boost.

Kleos is confident it can generate sales revenues approximately one year from its IPO for maritime applications and has mentioned the so-called data as a service (DaaS) as its designated methodology on which to create its services and pricing.

One potential application will be “critical intelligence products” utilising data from its network of satellites including to operate to an extent as a form of reverse GPS, geolocation of RF activity and other RF radio detection capabilities which are expected to deliver significant technical advantages for customers.

The underlying benefit being marketed by Kleos is the ability to locate unseen, unlocatable, obscured, obfuscated and covert maritime activity.

Kleos Space maritime surveillance

Kleos will offer a remarkable shift in global geo-located intelligence gathering capability from space. Its network will be able to locate radio signals from satellite phones, mobile phones, maritime VHF thereby targeting drugs/people smugglers, terrorists, pirates, illegal fishermen and also from those in need of search and rescue.

“The first satellite is aimed at tracking VHF transmissions from ships,” says Kleos chairman Peter Round.

“We’ll be able to look at VHF transmissions and decide where they are. We won’t be able to listen to what’s in them, but we will know there’s a radio transmission there. Advanced nations like Australia and the UK need geolocated data streams to improve both their private and public-sector capabilities which gives us a superb starting position in this new market made possible by nanosatellites.”

Future path

Kleos has confirmed that by mid-2019 its LEO nanosatellite earth observation mission will be able to accurately geolocate target RF transmissions.

Kleos’ data will be provided to users for whom information, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) superiority is essential for success in dealing with increasingly complex threats and emergencies, driving the need for quality geospatial and signals intelligence.

Kleos says its technological applications are not a “nice to have”, but a “must-have” capability.

Operationally, Kleos says it will cast out a single satellite system in 2019 followed by launching a constellation of “20 radio data collection spacecraft systems,” that provide activity-based intelligence and will gradually expand the company’s global coverage.