- 1 July 2021 16:39
Kleos Space launches second cluster Polar Vigilance Mission satellites into orbit
Locally listed space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, Kleos Space S.A (ASX: KSS), has successfully launched its second satellite cluster, the Polar Vigilance Mission (KSF1), this morning (AEST) aboard the Spaceflight SXRS-5/SpaceX Transporter-2 Mission.
Deployed into a 525km Sun Synchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Polar Vigilance satellites further enhance Kleos’ global coverage and data collection capability and broaden the coverage range of Kleos’ first cluster of four Kleos Scouting Mission (KSM1) satellites. Satellite developer, Innovative Solutions In Space (ISISPACE), is performing the Launch and Early Operation Phase (LEOP) support, which includes commissioning of all spacecraft systems and manoeuvring the four satellites into operational formation.
Kleos CTO Miles Ashcroft said, “Despite the schedule for the KSF1 satellites from placing the contract to launch being exceptionally ambitious, Kleos’ second cluster has been launched within the time window allocated and on budget. We must acknowledge ISISPACE and Spaceflight as well as our Kleos’ technical team’s work, I am proud of the whole team who have worked together empathetically, and it has made a massive difference with an incredible outcome that cannot be overstated. Kleos is well on track to see its third constellation in orbit by the end of this year. With each cluster launched, coverage and volume of data increases, commensurately increasing our revenue opportunities.”
The KSM1 Scouting Mission satellites were launched into a 37-degree low earth orbit in November 2020 and were the world’s first four satellite cluster flown in a formation for precision geolocation capability. Data from the KSM1 Scouting Mission is being delivered to customers and the satellites are being used to develop many space and ground segments for the Company.
Early adopter revenue has commenced, with repeat subscription-based revenues delayed but anticipated to commence in Q3 and increase further in Q4 2021 with the addition of the data from the second cluster, Polar Vigilance satellites. The constellation will grow further with the addition of Kleos’ third satellite cluster - the Polar Patrol Mission, which is on track for a late 2021 launch aboard another SpaceX Falcon 9.
Kleos satellites collect data that is then processed to detect and geolocate radio frequency activity to improve the detection of hidden and illegal activities including piracy, drug and people smuggling, border security challenges and illegal fishing as they can detect transmissions, independent of other systems such as those used in active tracking, or when imagery is unclear, or targets are out of normal aircraft patrol range.