Kleos Space S.A. (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1) has successfully deployed their Scouting Mission satellites (KSM1) via the launch on India Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C49 from Chennai, India, on the November 7, 2020.
Kleos’ cluster of four satellites have been launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre under a rideshare contract with Spaceflight Inc. Deployment from the launch vehicle into their allocated orbit at 37 degree inclination has occurred and initial communications has been established. The on-orbit commissioning phase now commences to prepare the satellites to collect data over crucial areas of interest such as Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, East/West Africa, Southern Sea of Japan, northern Australian coast, e.g., the Timor Sea.
The multi-satellite Scouting Mission system forms the foundation of a constellation that delivers a global picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when AIS (Automatic Identification System) is defeated, imagery is unclear, or targets are out of patrol range. The first scouting mission is comprised of 4x satellites built by GomSpace in Denmark.
While the first cluster is in orbit, Kleos remains focused on securing additional Government and commercial contracts and is on track to generate first revenues in Q1 2021. The development of Kleos’ second cluster of satellites (KSF1), is already underway and subsequent to an initial review on the 6th November is expected to pass PDR within the next week.
That activity is on track to have satellites procured, assembled and integrated for the mid 2021 launch slot (window opens 1st June 2021). This mission will be named Polar Vigilance Mission and is a cluster of four satellites, launching into SSO. The Polar Vigilance Mission will enhance the company’s RF geolocation data delivered by the Kleos Scouting Mission by covering areas North and South of the Scouting Mission 37 degree inclined orbit in addition to increasing overall coverage time in the equatorial region and increasing revenues.
Kleos CEO Andy Bowyer said, “We are very excited to have our cluster of four satellites in orbit, only three years after founding Kleos Space. This launch marks an important milestone for Kleos to start delivering our commercial and independent data to government agencies, the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) community and organisations interested in locating threats, assets or those in need of search and rescue. I would like to thank the entire team at Kleos Space, GomSpace, ISRO and Space Flight as they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to get our Scouting satellites launched in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Additionally I would like to thank the wider team around us, we have an incredible group of shareholders, stakeholders and partners who have been on this journey with us, and I look forward to working with them as we now grow.”
Kleos CTO Miles Ashcroft said of the successful launch, “This is the fruition of a massive amount of hard work by the team. They have made sure this has happened through the most unusual of times, and I am grateful for their dedication which has been exemplary. I am proud of them for what they have achieved, and they should be proud of themselves too. We are in a good position for developing our systems to exploit data, we are making fantastic progress on the next mission (KSF1) already, these really are exciting times for Kleos.”
Franz Fayot, Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, congratulated the Kleos Space team and said, “With the launch of the first satellites, the team of Kleos has reached yet another milestone in the successful development of the company. Kleos and its activities in Luxembourg are a perfect showcase to demonstrate how space- Kleos Space S.A.- 26, rue des Gaulois – L-1618 Luxembourg 2/ 4 related companies find here a nurturing and supportive environment with an established community of high-tech businesses, researchers, and entrepreneurs along with access to the necessary support, services and facilities.”
François Bausch, Luxembourg Minister of Defence, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mobility and Public Works, added, “It is for me of utmost importance that all our endeavours serve to keep our World, but also Space, a peaceful domain. We should therefore develop meaningful capacities for our common defence as well as for society in general. The activities of Kleos in Luxembourg and the launch of these first satellites are perfectly in line with this objective and we look forward to Kleos contributing to our efforts to build valuable data sets. While using innovative technologies developed in Luxembourg, Kleos can contribute to make this World a bit more safe and secure. I would sincerely like to congratulate Kleos for the launch of these first satellites and wish you a lot of success.”