Kleos Space S.A., a space-powered radio frequency reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, announced on 6 March 2020 that the Brazilian government agency Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Naturale Biocombustíveis (ANP) is to evaluate Kleos data at no cost for three months, commencing at the time the relevant data set is made available, after which the cost for continuation is subject to final licence negotiation (Pre-Order).
Speaking about the Pre-Order by a Brazilian government agency, Kleos CEO Andy Bowyer said “This is Kleos first entrance into a South American government agency. Kleos data will be instrumental in the fight against environmental crimes, explicitly demonstrating the case for Kleos data. Our satellites are now on site in India ready for the final stages of launcher integration, we look forward to working with our global customers very soon on their very real on-going challenges”.
Enrico Pedroso, of the ANP, who has 25 years of industry experience and is a professor of applied remote sensing on the geology faculty at Rio State University (UERJ) spoke of the need for ANP to access Geolocated RF Data from Kleos Space. “What is needed is a variety of earth observation datasets such as optical & SAR imagery, AIS data, meteorological and oceanographic data, etc. operating in an integrated manner which is where the kind of data Kleos will soon be delivering will be very useful to identify potentially illegal shipping activities and pin-point locations which should be investigated with the other earth observation data sets available. The fact that Brazil does not have an active high-performance earth observation system to monitor the ocean has played a major factor in preventing the government from finding the culprit(s) who cause pollution.”
Pedroso continued, “The ANPs’ Superintendence for Operational Security & Environment (SSM), is responsible for the monitoring of the environment in Brazil, especially as far as accidents and pollution are concerned. Recently there was a very serious incident off the North Atlantic coast of Brazil when major quantities of oil where found in the ocean and along the beautiful beaches of North Eastern Brazil most likely spilled by a single polluting ship. During recent weeks and as part of the Brazilian Contingency Planning activities, ANP participated intensely, together with the Brazilian Navy and IBAMA (the Fauna & Flora protection agency of the Ministry of the Environment) in the search for the culprit(s).
The information from radio frequency activity on board ships navigating in Brazilian waters from Kleos Space would have been very useful had it been available at the time of the North-eastern Brazil events because it is very likely that the ship(s) that caused the pollution knew what they were doing and were therefore very careful to avoid scrutiny by switching off their AIS transmitters. Kleos’ data would cause the Government’s monitoring system to be much more efficient”
The need for an integrated earth observation system to monitor both the continental and offshore activities of the oil & gas industry is also what brought Pedroso to ANP, where he is tasked with the deployment of the MultiSAR project. This is an initiative of the Brazilian Government’s Ministry of Mining & Energy. The Ministry is tasked with the set-up of facilities to receive and process large quantities of SAR imagery supplied by the worlds’ main providers of such data in order to handle multiple applications for the benefit of the oil & gas industry. This is also a reason why ANP is particularly interested in evaluating the data from Kleos as part of their post-launch beta testing operations. Where the cost of not having such an integrated monitoring system became very clear in recent weeks considering the enormous efforts that had to be made by the government at a very high cost to try to find the culprits of the recent pollution and this demonstrates the relevance for a major oil and gas producer such as Brazil to make this kind of investment.