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Nano and Microsatellite Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2022 - 2027)

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  • 105 Pages
  • August 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4534345
The nano and microsatellite market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 8% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

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 worldwide 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 the aerial reconnaissance augmentation process. The nano and microsatellites can also be readily deployed in times of crisis to fill the missing gap in military operations.

Furthermore, the demand for satellite networks and services for commercial applications has increased. Satellite communications are an essential part of the 5G infrastructure. To provide seamless connectivity between terrestrial and satellite, satellite transport conduit is integrated into the overall communication map, which may 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 may foster the growth of the market.

However, attitude control and pointing stability are more challenging with smaller satellites than with 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 the older versions 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 recording their GPS coordinates, an attack could usher chaos and devastation at a global level. Such disruptive threats endanger the market's growth during the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

Military 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 if an intercontinental ballistic missile is detected. The sensors mounted on these satellites can also automatically sense nuclear explosions and determine the detonation location while further conveying the essential information required for a strategic strike assessment. For instance, in September 2021, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the development of an indigenous micro-satellite reconnaissance system with an investment of KWR 11.2 billion (USD 9.6 million). The new military reconnaissance satellite includes the operation of many microsatellites to detect activities that regular military reconnaissance satellites cannot detect. Besides surveillance, military satellites can also perform strategic and tactical operations. Apart from observing enemy weapons development, the satellites can 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 be launched as a secondary payload, the adoption is increasing because of the increasing use of satellites in tactical warfare. The increase in C4ISR requirements of the global defense forces is expected to drive the demand for military satellites during the forecast period.

North America Held the Largest Market Share by Revenue in 2021

As of 2021, North America had 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 launches a huge number of nano and microsatellites for various applications, including Earth observation, remote sensing, communications, and military operations. In 2021, the United States launched over 210 nanosatellites, and more than 75% of the nanosatellites were launched in 2020. However, during the forecast period, Europe is expected to be the fastest-growing region, as more companies are investing more in nanosatellite technologies. The countries are robustly investing in developing and launching civil and commercial satellites (for applications like communication). For instance, in March 2021, the government of Catalonia launched its first Spanish 5G satellite onboard Soyuz 2 launcher under the Catalonia New Space Strategy. The investment for the project was EUR 1.7 million (USD 1.91 million), and the project is expected to be worth EUR 18 million (USD 20.17 million). The country aims to invest in establishing its space sector by 2025. These launches are expected to be completed during the forecast period. Moreover, many universities and start-ups in Europe are collaborating with launch service providers to launch their nano and microsatellites.

Competitive Landscape

Currently, the nano and microsatellite market is highly fragmented as most of the market is dominated by a few key players, such as Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Planet Labs, Inc., and Spire Global Inc. SSTL designs and manufactures small satellites per the requirements of its clients. In this regard, in December 2021, SSTL signed a contract with Satellite Vu for a Mid Wave Infra-Red (MWIR) thermal imaging satellite, which is expected to increase to seven MWIR spacecraft in the coming years. The satellite is planned to be deployed to measure the heat signature of any building anywhere several times a day. The satellite is expected to be launched by Q4 2022.

However, given the varied applications of nano and microsatellites, a high success rate, and the low cost involved in launching, large companies, government organizations, start-ups, and universities are focusing on this sector. Many new start-ups have already started venturing into the market. For instance, in February 2021, Tel Aviv University launched the first locally manufactured nanosatellite named TAU-SAT1, which was entirely designed, developed, and assembled by the Israeli university. TAU-SAT1 was planned to conduct several experiments, such as the measurement of cosmic radiation around the Earth. The focus of such universities and institutions on the launch of nano and microsatellites is expected to increase the market fragmentation in the coming years.

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Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study
1.3 Currency Conversion Rates for USD
3.1 Market Size and Forecast, Global, 2018 - 2027
3.2 Market Share by Mass, 2021
3.3 Market Share by End User, 2021
3.4 Market Share by Geography, 2021
3.5 Structure of the Market and Key Participants
4.1 Market Overview
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 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size and Forecast by Value - USD million, 2018 - 2027)
5.1 Mass
5.1.1 Nanosatellite
5.1.2 Microsatellite
5.2 End User
5.2.1 Military
5.2.2 Civil
5.2.3 Commercial
5.3 Geography
5.3.1 North America
5.3.2 Europe
5.3.3 Asia-Pacific
5.3.4 Latin America
5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa
6.1 Vendor Market Share
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 Berlin Space Technologies GmbH
6.2.5 L3Harris Technologies Inc.
6.2.6 CommSat
6.2.7 German Orbital Systems
6.2.8 ViaSat Inc.
6.2.9 GomSpace Group AB
6.2.10 Sky and Space Global Ltd
6.2.11 NanoAvionics
6.2.12 Blue Canyon Technologies



Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Planet Labs Inc.
  • Spire Global Inc.
  • Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
  • Berlin Space Technologies GmbH
  • L3Harris Technologies Inc.
  • CommSat
  • German Orbital Systems
  • ViaSat Inc.
  • GomSpace Group AB
  • Sky and Space Global Ltd
  • NanoAvionics
  • Blue Canyon Technologies