Rather than observing the Earth in the visible domain as you would with cameras, Kleos is observing it in the ‘radio frequency’ part of the spectrum using antennas.
And by flying multiple satellites equipped with sensors, together in a formation, we are able to locate where radio transmissions are coming from — a sort of reverse GPS.
If those radio transmission are coming from an area of the ocean which isn’t showing any legitimate activity, then we know we have identified new and previously unknown activity. Thus locating dark, unseen, obscured, obfuscated, covert Maritime activity which may indicate activities such as illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking.
And we sell this data as a service.
Our first scouting mission is made up of 4x nano-satellites built by GomSpace in Denmark, each the size of a shoebox. With these satellites, we will collect global data every day which can sell. As we launch more satellites, we see the Earth more often and the value of the data goes up.
The satellites in the image above are also built by GomSpace.
Our scouting satellites are classed as nano-sats — approx. 30cm x 20cm x 10cm. The term ‘nano-satellite’ or ‘nano-sat’ is applied to an artificial satellite with a wet mass between 1 and 10kg.
Designs and proposed designs of these types may be launched individually, or they have multiple nano-satellites working together or in formation, in which case, sometimes the term ‘satellite swarm’ or ‘fractionated spacecraft’ may be applied. Some designs require a larger ‘mother’ satellite for communication with ground controllers or for launching and docking with nano-satellites. Over 1100 nano-satellites have been launched as of January 2019.
With continued advances in the miniaturisation and capability increase of electronic technology and the use of satellite constellations, nano-satellites are increasingly capable of performing commercial missions which previously required micro-satellites. For example, a 6U CubeSat standard has been proposed to enable a constellation of 35, 8kg Earth-imaging satellites to replace a constellation of 5, 156kg RapidEye Earth-imaging satellites at the same mission cost. With significantly increased revisit times, every area of the globe can be imaged every 3/5 hours rather than once per 24 hours with the RapidEye constellation.
More rapid revisit times are a significant improvement for nations performing disaster response, which was the purpose of the RapidEye constellation. Additionally, the nano-sat option would allow more nations to own their own satellite for off-peak (non-disaster) imaging data collection. As costs lower and production times shorted, nano-satellites are becoming increasingly feasible ventures for companies.
We are consistently developing our technology roadmap — both on board satellite payload development but also longer term development of antenna, satellite and deployment technologies for increasing our collection capability and accuracy. Future tech advances include our In-Space Manufacturing Technology; Futrism.
We are consistently developing our technology roadmap — both on board satellite payload development but also longer term development of antenna, satellite and deployment technologies for increasing our collection capability and accuracy.
Future tech advances include our In-Space Manufacturing Technology; Futrism.In Space Manufacturing