RF scanning service Kleos Space is moving towards its next flight in mid-June onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission with its third group of satellites to be launched at the end of the year.
Kleos Polar Vigilance Mission (KSF1), composed of four satellites, cleared its hardware critical design review in February with hardware now moving towards assemble and verification. Once these satellites are finally integrated, and tested, they will be handed over to the company’s flight coordinator Spaceflight Inc.
When launched, the mid-2021 satellites will join four scout satellites launched in November 2020 on an Indian PSLV rideshare mission. The KSM1 mission satellites are in a 37 degree orbit while the KSF1 group will go into a sun synchronous orbit, providing Kleos with two different clusters of satellites for enhanced global revisit time to areas of interest.
A third cluster of satellites will be on board a December 2021 SpaceX rideshare also delivering satellites to sun synchronous orbit. The KSF2 Polar Patrol Mission will add another four satellites for a total of 12 in the fleet with an initial plan to have 20 satellites in orbit conducting RF scanning, looking for radio traffic in areas of interest around the globe.
Kleos Space describes itself as a “space enabled, activity-based intelligence, data as a service company.” Based in Luxembourg, Kleos will provide RF activity data that can be used for maritime and border monitoring as well as search and rescue operations and illegal fishing activities.
RF sensing also has commercial applications, but Kleos has not yet expressed an interest in pursuing spectrum surveys for telecom firms and governments.