According to the new research report, the “Small Satellite Market by Satellite Mass (Small satellite, CubeSat), Application (Communication, Earth Observation & Remote Sensing, Scientific, Technology), Subsystem, Orbit, End User, Frequency and Region – Forecast to 2026”, published by MarketsandMarkets, the Small Satellite Market is projected to grow from USD 3.1 billion in 2021 to USD 7.4 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 19.4 %.
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Small satellite systems hold a huge potential for small satellite data service providers, smallsat service providers, remote sensing service providers, technical service providers, and investors. The market is one of the most lucrative verticals of the space industry. Factors such as versatility, low cost, advanced mechanics, ease of assembly and launch, mass production, and short lifecycles have driven investments in the small satellite market. The amount of satellite data and the range of applications for that data will continue to grow in the future as new technologies develop and more satellites come online.
Growing investments by several governments particularly in developed and developing economies such as the US, India, and China, among others. COVID-19 has affected the Small satellite market growth to some extent, and this varies from country to country. Industry experts believe that the pandemic has not affected the demand for small satellite equipment.
Based on platform, the commercial segment is estimated to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026.
It is projected to grow further due to the increasing need for communications, earth observation, imaging, and agricultural monitoring. Companies such as Pumpkin Space (US) use small satellites for scientific experiments such as testing new technologies like batteries with sleep mode capability (BM-2). BUSEK Space Propulsion and Systems (US) is another company focused on developing new propulsion systems such as the pulsed plasma thruster, green monopropellant thrusters, and electrothermal thrusters. In 2019, OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus SE, launched around 34 satellites for the OneWeb constellation from on Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Based on satellite mass, the small satellite segment is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026.
A small satellite is a type of low mass and compact satellite primarily employed for remote sensing, Earth observation, and communication purposes. These satellites usually weigh less than 500 kg. Small satellites are used for in-orbit inspection purposes of larger satellites. These are also used as test carriers for newly developed components that are to be installed on a much critical satellite. However, small satellites are prone to operational challenges that include lack of power storage and propulsion system, owing to their small dimensions. In January 2022, satellite communications provider, Starlink launched a part of constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
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Based on region, North America is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026.
The US is a lucrative market for small satellite systems in the North American region. The US government is increasingly investing in advanced small satellite technologies to enhance the quality and effectiveness of satellite communication. The increasing investment on small satellite equipment to enhance defense and surveillance capabilities of the armed forces, modernization of existing communication in military platforms, critical infrastructure and law enforcement agencies using small satellite systems, are key factors expected to drive the small satellite market in North America. In 2021, Swarm Technologies launched 28, 0.25U CubeSat SpaceBEE. The CubeSat is the world’s smallest two-way communications satellites for IoT.
Contracts were the main strategy adopted by leading players to sustain their position in the Small satellite market, followed by new product developments with advanced technologies. Many companies also collaborated to set up special centers for the research & development of advanced small satellite systems.
The small satellite market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Thales Group (France), L3Harris Technologies (US), Honeywell International Inc. (US), Lockheed Martin (US), Airbus (Germany), among others.
Satellite Payloads Market by Type (Communication, Imagery, Software-defined Payload, Navigation), Satellite (CubeSat, Small Satellite, Medium Satellite, Large Satellite), Orbit, Application, End User, Frequency, and Region – Forecasts to 2026