Launch confirmation for marine surveillance satellites

Kleos Scouting Mission. Credit: Kleos Space S.A.

As part of an increased maritime global surveillance push, four nanosatellites will be launched in December 2019.

Kleos Space, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, has received confirmation that the Kleos Scouting Mission will be deployed on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from Chennai, India.

The Scouting Mission satellites, built by nanosatellite supplier and manufacturer GomSpace in Denmark, will launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The nanosatellites will provide coverage over crucial shipping areas including the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, and East and West African coasts.

Kleo’s Scouting Mission satellites will geolocate maritime radio frequency transmissions to provide global activity-based intelligence, even when automatic identification systems or other positioning systems have been switched off (this activity is known as “going dark”). The geolocation data will still be available even when imagery is unclear or targets are out of maritime patrol range.

The geolocation data will enable governments and organisations to detect hidden maritime activity such as drug and people smuggling, piracy, and illegal fishing, as well as identify those in need of search and rescue at sea.

The four-week launch preparation schedule will commence in mid-November with shipping of high-purity butane satellite fuel to the launch integration facility in Chennai.