ASX-listed space company Kleos said it will be ready to launch its first cluster of small satellites, called the Kleos Scouting Mission, by mid-year.
The Luxembourg-based company, which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in August last year, plans a constellation of 20 small satellites able to geo-locate maritime radio transmissions.
That allows accurate location of vessels in distress, as well as those not broadcasting automatic identification system (AIS) signals. Kleos said that would allow governments and organisations 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.
In its latest advice to the ASX, Kleos Space chief executive Andy Bowyer said the company remained on track for the revenue generating Scouting Mission satellites to be launched by the end of second quarter.
“Our satellites achieved key technical milestones this quarter and our build partner GomSpace is focused on completing final testing on time and budget,” he said.
“Negotiations continue to progress with prospective end customers in the defence and intelligence sectors where our commercially independent maritime reconnaissance data is able to verify existing anti-terrorism and crime monitoring data sets.”
Kleos Scouting Mission satellites will be launched aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from New Zealand.
Improving the company’s financial position, Kleos received a $619,000 grant from the government of Luxembourg in February.
Kleos has also signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Israel-based geospatial intelligence company ImageSat International to explore opportunities to use Kleos’ data to enhance intelligence analytics.
Kleos has also signed a non-exclusive commercial agreement with specialist US firm Victoria Falls Technology to enable integration of Kleos’ data into US defence programs.
“The agreement includes projects proposed to the US Air Force Small Business Innovation and Research program, which are designed to accelerate development and production of emerging technologies that can be utilised by the Air Force,” Kleos said.
Should a proposal from Victoria Falls Technology win US Air Force acceptance, that would start next year and run for up to two years, generating revenues of more than $4 million. It could also lead to further longer term projects.
During the quarter, Kleos also engaged a Frankfurt, Germany, based corporate consultant for liaison with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and investor engagement in Europe as it prepares to start selling its services commercially.
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