Kleos Space orders reconnaissance satellites for 2022 launch

by

TAMPA, Fla. — Luxembourg-based startup Kleos Space has ordered four more RF reconnaissance satellites, securing a launch in mid-2022 to improve data collection and revisit times.

Innovative Solutions in Space (ISISPACE) of the Netherlands is building the venture’s fourth cluster of satellites, known as its Observer Mission, which have booked a launch with SpaceX through U.S.-based rideshare broker Spaceflight.

ISISPACE and Spaceflight supported Kleos Space’s second cluster of satellites that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-2 mission sent to sun synchronous orbit June 29.

They are also working on the startup’s third cluster, which Kleos Space said is on track to launch onboard a Falcon 9 rocket in January 2022.

Similar to the second and third clusters, the Observer Mission satellites aim to add up to a further 119 million kilometers squared of data collection capacity per day.

The cost to build and launch the fourth cluster is expected to be around 4.5 million Australian dollars ($3.4 million), Kleos Space said.

Kleos Space has plans for as many as 20 clusters of satellites, designed to detect and geolocate RF transmissions for applications ranging from combating piracy and people smuggling to illegal fishing.

Trading publicly on stock exchanges in Germany and Australia, Kleos Space said Sept. 6 it had raised 12.6 million Australian dollars ($9.4 million) to grow its constellation. 

In a business update attached to the funding announcement, the company said it was closing in on 170 “qualified deals” for its services, including 48 “signed evaluation contracts with customers, that include a free trial period to evaluate data products prior to revenue generation.”

Kleos Space also said its constellation is showing better-than-expected performance in a recent technical paper.

“We are rapidly building our constellation, utilising funds from our recent capital raise to commit to our fourth satellite cluster build and launch,” Kleos Space CEO Andy Bowyer said in a statement.

“Each new launch enables us to improve satellite data collection and increase revisits over key areas of interest for our customers.”