Pictured Gomspace CEO Niels Buus with Andy Bowyer of Kleos
Luxembourg-based newspace firm Kleos says its satellite scouting mission has one more phase to pass before deployment.
The milestone was announced by the firm on Monday, which said it had successfully passed the integration test review with nanosatellite specialist Gomspace.
It means Kleos is on track to launch its initial scouting mission satellites on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from New Zealand during the second quarter of 2019.
The final acceptance review is expected in May. The mission is part of a constellation that will provide an overview of hidden maritime activity, for use by government and commercial entities when the automatic identification system malfunctions.
Kleos has developed an activity-based geolocation data-as-a-service that will help governments detect and locate drug- and people-smuggling activities, illegal fishing and piracy, or assist in sea search and rescues.
Luxembourg has developed an ecosystem of newspace firms since the economy ministry launched the SpaceResources.lu initiative in 2016. This strategy aims to attract the know-how to Luxembourg to further its goals of exploiting space resources.
On 4 April O3b, a subsidiary of Betzdorf-based satellite operation SES, launched four medium-earth orbit satellites from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.
The launch brings the number of O3b satellites to 20 and forms part of its transition into a new generation medium-earth orbit system. Located some 8,000 km from the earth’s surface, the O3b constellation delivers fibre-optic equivalent performance and expands the service’s reach to offer cloud services and applications globally.