ASX-listed radio frequency reconnaissance data provider Kleos Space S.A (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1) has confirmed its fourth satellite cluster, the Observer Mission (KSF3), is manifested to launch on the Transporter-6 SpaceX Mission NET October 2022.
The Observer Mission satellites will be deployed into a Sun Synchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida under a launch contract agreement with Spaceflight Inc. and integration services from ISILAUNCH.
Equipped with AIS, VHF, and X-Band payloads, the four satellites will expand Kleos’ data collection capability by up to an additional 119 million km² per day and increase its average daily revisit rate over the 15-degree latitude area of interest to around five times a day.
Kleos’ satellites geolocate radio frequency transmissions to improve the detection of illegal activity such as drug and people smuggling, illegal fishing, piracy, and border security challenges. In an update to the ASX, the company said it had received purchase orders and contracts valued at just over £1 million (approximately AUD1.5 million) over the past two months with delivery and payment expected in the coming two quarters.
Kleos Space CEO Andy Bowyer said, “The upcoming launch brings our low earth orbit constellation to 16 satellites, further increasing our data collection, intelligence, and reconnaissance capabilities. The Observer Mission features VHF and X-Band collection payloads, providing additional value and capabilities to our government and commercial data customers.”
Kleos’ Observer mission was originally booked for a mid-2022 launch but was moved to SpaceX’s Transporter-6 Mission and will deploy from an ISILAUNCH integrated port after Spaceflight encountered a vibration issue with their original deployment method.
“As Kleos continues to launch its constellation, it’s important to offer a variety of reliable launch options,” said Curt Blake, President and CEO of Spaceflight.
Director of ISILAUNCH, Abe Bonnema, added, “We are pleased that we could offer our support to Kleos and Spaceflight with launch capacity on a launch that best fitted the needs of our customers and partners. Part of the ISISPACE Group building turn-key satellite solutions for Kleos, ISILAUNCH is keenly aware of the importance of launch flexibility and working with launch partners to best serve our joint customer needs.”
Kleos has recently executed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Division, Crane (NSWC Crane) for joint data experimentation.
Under the CRADA agreement, Kleos will provide its radio frequency geolocation data in realistic test scenarios to improve maritime domain awareness for real-world challenges, including sanctions reporting, transshipment monitoring, search and rescue, resource management and smuggling.
The agreement is the first phase of the SCOUT Experimentation Campaign – a collaboration between the Naval Research and Development Establishment, industry players, academia, and Department of Defense technology partners to rapidly innovate and integrate holistic solutions for military challenges. It includes discovery test exercises, which will contribute to the development and integration of technologies that allow for quicker leadership decision making. The first phase of the SCOUT exercises will begin mid-2022 and will be spread over a period of 3-6 months.