The Nano and Microsatellite Market was valued at USD 183.75 million in 2020 and the market is projected to register a CAGR of 8.57% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
The operating framework of the space industry renders it uniquely vulnerable to economic shocks. The recent growth in the space sector generated unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship and start-up activity. Certain industry segments, such as space exploration and science, or even satellite manufacturing, are characterized by low production volumes and high levels of specialization, with a limited number of suppliers. These segments tend to be populated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the COVID-19 crisis has heightened the risk of industry concentration, eliminating smaller and younger firms, several of which are dependent on contracts from larger firms and are marred with slow product deliveries and mission deployments due to social distancing measures and supply-chain delays.
With the advent of technology, the nature of battles has changed drastically. For various military requirements, including communication, the defense agencies across the globe require space capability to meet the demand for more operationally responsive forces. Nano and microsatellites can provide high visibility against the tactical enemy operations. Rapid access to near-real-time information and imagery can be helpful for aerial reconnaissance augmentation process. The nano and microsatellites can also be readily deployed in times of crisis to fill the missing gap for military operations. Furthermore, the demand for satellite networks and services for commercial applications has increased. Satellite communications is envisioned to be an essential part of the 5G infrastructure. To provide seamless connectivity between terrestrial and satellite, satellite transport conduit is being integrated into the overall communication map. This will result in new opportunities for extending satellite services in urban and rural areas aimed to cover the existing white zones and ensure a seamless connectivity plan for a variety of users including the emergency services. Such developments foster the growth of the market.
However, attitude control and pointing stability are more challenging with smaller satellites than larger ones due to the lack of inertia of the platforms. Hence, they are more susceptible to rotational disturbances or torques caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, magnetic field, and solar radiation. Furthermore, satellites are vulnerable to certain cybersecurity threats. Most active satellites run on older version of the operating systems such as Windows XP, which opens a technological gap that can be utilized by malicious parties to disrupt the services provided by the concerned satellite. Since maritime and military satellite systems could be affected by compromising navigation systems and by recording their GPS coordinates, an attack could usher chaos and devastation at a global level. Such disruptive threats endanger the growth of the market in focus during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Military End-user Segment to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
Military satellites are used for two specific mission profiles- surveillance and reconnaissance. Military satellites can provide continuous coverage of an area and can be used for early warning in case the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile is detected. The sensors mounted on these satellites can also automatically sense nuclear explosions and determine the location of the detonation, while further conveying the essential information required for a strategic strike assessment. Besides surveillance, military satellites are also capable of performing both strategic and tactical operations. Besides observing enemy weapons development, the satellites can also verify international compliance to the arms limitation treaties and aid in strategic targeting by predetermining the deployments of military assets at strategic vantage points in case of an armed conflict.
Since nano and microsatellites can also be launched as a secondary payload, the adoption is increasing on account of the increasing use of satellites in tactical warfare. The increase in C4ISR requirements of the global defense forces is envisioned to drive the demand for military satellites during the forecast period.
North America is Expected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
As of 2020, North America has the highest market share in the nano and microsatellite market. The United States launched more than 50% of the world's nano and microsatellites to date. In addition, every year, the country is launching a huge number of nano and microsatellites for various applications, including earth observation, remote sensing, communications, and military operations. In 2018 alone, the United States launched around 150 of these satellites, and about twice the number of those nano and microsatellites were planned to be launched in 2019 by the country. However, during the forecast period, Europe is expected to be the fastest-growing region, as companies in the region are investing more in nanosatellite technologies. Sky and Space Global Ltd, a British public company, is planning to launch a constellation of 200 nanosatellites in equatorial low earth orbit for narrowband communications. The launches are expected to be completed during the forecast period. Moreover, many universities and startups in Europe are collaborating with launch service providers to launch their own nano and microsatellites.
Planet Labs and Spire are two of the major players in the nano and microsatellite market. Both these companies are based in the United States. However, many new startups, schools, and universities from Europe and Asia-Pacific are also launching their own nano and microsatellites. With the building of these nano and microsatellites becoming affordable and the success rate in launching these satellites becoming better, many players are expected to venture into this market, thereby making it more fragmented in the years to come.
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1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Market Drivers
4.3 Market Restraints
4.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
5.3.1 North America
5.3.4 Latin America
5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Planet Labs, Inc.
6.2.2 Spire Global, Inc.
6.2.3 Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
6.2.4 Swarm Technologies, Inc.
6.2.5 SpaceQuest, Ltd.
6.2.6 L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
6.2.8 German Orbital Systems
6.2.9 ViaSat, Inc.
6.2.10 GomSpace Group AB
6.2.11 Sky and Space Global Ltd
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- IBM Corporation
- Oracle Corporation
- Internap Corporation
- Packet Inc. (An Equinix Inc. Company)
- Scaleway Inc.
- Amazon Web Services Inc
- Rackspace Inc.
- CenturyLink, Inc.
- LightEdge Solutions, Inc