Kleos Space S. A. (ASX: KSS) has signed a contract with U.S. orbital launch provider Rocket Lab to launch the scouting mission satellites that will geolocate maritime radio to guard borders, protect assets and save lives.
The multi-satellite system of the Kleos Scouting Mission (KSM) will form the cornerstone of a 20 system constellation that will geolocate VHF transmissions from marine vessels to provide global, activity-based intelligence data as a service. The Kleos Space satellites will detect radio transmissions and locate their origin and timing, enabling governments and organizations to detect activity such as drug and people smuggling, illegal fishing and piracy, as well as identify those in need of search and rescue at sea.
Built by GomSpace, the Kleos Space satellites are scheduled to launch on an Electron rocket from Launch Complex-1 in mid-2019. The satellites will be integrated into Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built Maxwell dispensers and deployed from the Electron kick stage to LEO. Rocket Lab’s unique kick stage, powered by the 3D printed Curie engine, is designed to circularize smallsat orbits and perform complex maneuvers, including multiple engine burns, to deploy many satellites into different orbits. This provides unmatched mission flexibility, making it ideal for deploying and replenishing constellations.
Andy Bowyer, the CEO at Kleos Space, stated that Rocket Lab’s technology provides the company with the flexibility needed to grow the firm's own satellite constellation and respond to demanding market needs. Kleos Space is thrilled to launch the first satellites with a new space company that meets the company's business philosophy.
Peter Beck, the CEO of Rocket Lab, added that small satellite technology like that of Kleos Space is increasingly playing a vital role in informing decisions on the ground that protect people and the environment. Rocket Lab is thrilled to be partnering with Kleos Space to provide them with the rapid and reliable access to orbit needed to build and replenish small satellite constellations.