Kleos Space signs deal to build nanosatellites for Polar Patrol Mission
Space-powered data-as-a-service company Kleos Space SA (ASX: KSS) has signed a deal with Netherlands-based Innovative Solutions in Space BV (ISISPACE) to build and support a cluster of four satellites scheduled to launch by year end.
The satellites will form the Polar Patrol Mission (KSF2) and will be the third cluster sent into space by Kleos using a SpaceX Falcon 9 medium-lift launch vehicle.
Under the terms of the contract, ISISPACE will call on 15 years of experience in the design and manufacture of nanosatellites to provide Kleos with a full turnkey solution including development, production, testing, launch integration services and early orbit phase support.
The terms include an optional addendum for a further three satellite clusters (12 further satellites in total) which will facilitate constellation growth with “volume purchasing advantages”.
Funding methods for subsequent clusters will be determined through a combination of revenue, equity or borrowings depending on prevailing capital market conditions.
ISISPACE is also completing Kleos’ second satellite cluster known as the Polar Vigilance Mission (KSF1) for dispatch to the launch site at month end.
Polar Patrol Mission
Launching into a 600km sun synchronous orbit, the Polar Patrol Mission will double Kleos’ coverage over both poles, complementing the Scouting Mission and Polar Vigilance Mission satellites and enhancing global coverage.
Data from Scouting Mission satellites is scheduled for delivery to early adopter customers in the near future.
The Polar Vigilance satellites are on track for a mid-year launch onboard Falcon 9 following the completion of key development milestones.
Kleos chief executive officer Andy Bowyer said the latest mission will build the company’s revenues.
“It creates an opportunity for higher value subscriptions and will increase revenues by adding more frequent cover over commercial areas of interest,” he said.
“Targeting a constellation of up to 20 satellite clusters, each new cluster will increase sensing and intelligence-gathering capabilities, generating higher value data products for subscribers.”
Tracking illegal activities
Kleos’ satellites detect and geo-locate radio frequency transmissions to track illegal activities including piracy, drug and people smuggling, border security challenges and illegal fishing.
The global activity-based information is sold in the form of data-as-a-service to governments and commercial entities, complementing existing commercial datasets to improve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
“Our commercial ISR data is able to geo-locate radio frequencies irrespective of the presence of positioning systems, unclear imagery, poor weather or targets being out of patrol range,” Mr Bowyer said.
“It has broad applications spanning the security and defence, environment, insurance and regulatory sectors.”