Luxembourg-based satellite technology company Kleos Space has selected Rocket Lab to send its new set of scouting satellites into orbit.

Forming part of the 20-system constellation of Kleos Scouting Mission (KSM), the satellites will be designed to geolocate very high frequency (VHF) transmissions from marine vessels to provide global activity-based intelligence data.

The KSM constellation will also be able to guard borders, protect assets and save lives.

It will be developed to serve the governments and other organisations by providing precise data on the origin and timing of various activities including drug and people smuggling, illegal fishing and piracy, as well as search and rescue at sea.

Kleos Space CEO Andy Bowyer said: “Rocket Lab’s technology provides us with the flexibility we need to grow our satellite constellation and respond to the demanding market needs.”

The new Kleos Space satellites are manufactured by GomSpace and are expected to be launched onboard an Electron rocket from Launch Complex-1, New Zealand next year.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Kleos Space to provide them with the rapid and reliable access to orbit needed to build and replenish small satellite constellations.”

The satellites will be integrated into Rocket Lab’s Maxwell dispensers to deploy them from the Electron kick stage to low Earth orbit.

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The kick stage is powered by 3D printed Curie engine and is designed to circularise small satellite orbits and other in-orbital activities.

Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck said: “Small satellite technology like that of Kleos Space is increasingly playing a vital role in informing decisions on the ground that protect people and the environment.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Kleos Space to provide them with the rapid and reliable access to orbit needed to build and replenish small satellite constellations.”

Last month, Rocket Lab has secured a deal from Circle Aerospace to conduct ten satellite-launching missions using Electron rocket.

The first launch is expected to take place next year.