Releasing its third quarter 2019 activities report, the Australian-listed Kleos (ASX:KSS) says the satellites will launch into a 37-degree inclination delivering optimised revisitrates over key regions of maritime interest for defence and security customers - including the Australian coast, Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, Southern US coast as well as the East and Western African coast.
“The 37-degree inclination delivers more data from the crucial shipping regions where we have had demand from our initial target customers when compared to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) offered by the initial launch provider.
The Luxembourg-based Kleos says the scouting mission satellites will form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a picture of “hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities” when Automatic Identification System (AIS) is defeated, imagery unclear or targets out of patrol range.
Kleos Space CEO Andy Bowyer said, “Our Scouting Mission satellites are mission ready and we are on track to be able to commence revenue generation in the first quarter of 2020”.
“By changing launch providers and orbit, Kleos has increased the frequency of its coverage over crucial shipping regions such as the Strait of Hormuz and the South China Sea. Data from these regions is highly valuable to defence and security customers as they are increasingly prone to ‘dark’ maritime activity.
“While we are preparing for the launch of our satellites out of Chennai, we continue to build our customer base, securing additional pre-order contracts from early adopters.”
Kleos lists its key activity for the quarter as:
- December launch confirmed for Scouting Mission
- New orbit meets market demand and product take-up
- South American commercial pre-orders signed
- Accepted onto US Air Force accelerator
- US subsidiary established to underpin US activities
- Maritime safety collaboration with AIS provider Spire Global
- $3.3m funding secured at 50c (60% premium) through to launch and revenue