+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)


Remote Sensing Satellites Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • ID: 5458979
  • Report
  • October 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 110 Pages
  • Mordor Intelligence


  • Airbus SE
  • Esri
  • Maxar Technologies Ltd.
  • Planet Labs, Inc.
  • Thales Group
  • The Boeing Company

The Remote Sensing Satellites Market was valued at USD 2.59 million in 2020 and the market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 4.7% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

Though the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shockwaves for specific industries, the satellite manufacturing industry was insulated to a greater extent from the effects of the pandemic. This was due to the satellite industry’s high dependence on government contracts, where up to 70% of the market in some areas such as Earth Observation. In addition, the highly reliable and survivable nature of satellite communications services which are essential for disaster communications and backup services insulated the industry from some of the more severe impacts of the global pandemic. However, the postponement of launch schedules, the stoppage of many satellites production lines, and the drying up of private financing have disorganized emerging operators, exposing them to a cycle of financial distress.

However, post the COVID-19 outbreak, new value chains for the satellite and space industry have emerged, which branch out into activities, particularly services. These value chains are increasingly sophisticated and intrinsically linked to the industrial fabric of each stage of the satellite industry, ranging from the design and manufacture of satellite, its launch, operation, and maintenance in orbit, production of earth observation data, and utilizing the data for processing methods using self-learning algorithms. Furthermore, these activities have encouraged commercial services for meteorology and climate change; monitoring of fishery or mining resources; monitoring of critical installations (nuclear and photovoltaic power plants, gas and oil pipelines) and the seas and oceans; agriculture (irrigation, fertilizers); geolocation and consequently transport and distribution industry, urban and peri-urban mobility, etc.

The remote sensing satellite market is driven by the plethora of applications that are offered by the assimilated data to various end-user industries across the globe, especially the energy, agriculture, and defense sectors. However, the inherent capital-intensive nature of the satellite industry in general, and the recent COVID-19 induced disruption in the satellite industry supply chain are some of the factors that hinder the growth of the market in focus during the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

Defense Segment Held the Largest Market Share by Revenue in 2020

The regional conflicts, rapid deployment, and flexible response impose a heavy burden on military commanders, their staff, and supporting system to keep abreast with the situation on the ground about enemy activities. Spatial data is crucial for informed decision-making in the defense sector, and it assists in diverse strategic activities such as battlefield simulation, mission briefing, and communications planning, logistics management, and command control. Remotely sensed satellite images and data include spectral, spatial, and temporal resolutions. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) also allows military land and facilities managers to reduce base operation and maintenance costs, improve mission effectiveness, provide rapid modeling capabilities for analyzing alternative strategies, improve communication, and store institutional knowledge.

Advanced nations, such as the US, China, and Russia have reorganized their militaries to adopt space-based technologies such as space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Several nations are making significant investments to develop space-based satellite constellations that would enable them to command and control their forces worldwide and also with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track, and target hostile forces. For instance, in May 2021, China launched an optical Earth observation satellite that is designed to provide detailed reconnaissance imagery to the Chinese military. Also, in December 2020, the Airbus-built CSO-2 satellite was launched onboard a Soyuz rocket. CSO-2 is the second of the three-satellite CSO constellation, which will provide extremely high-resolution geoinformation intelligence to the French Armed Forces and its partners in the frame of the Multinational Space-based Imaging System for surveillance, reconnaissance, and observation (MUSIS) cooperation program. Similar upcoming launches of military remote sensing satellites are envisioned to drive the defense segment of the market in focus during the forecast period.

Asia-Pacific is Expected to Grow with the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period

The existing geopolitical rift in Asia-Pacific has driven nations to rapidly adopt space-based C4ISR technologies powered by remote sensing satellites to detect and secure their national borders from possible incursions. For instance, in July 2021, China successfully launched the 10th group of three Yaogan-30 intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites from Xichang. The Yaogan-30 series of satellites are built by the Small Satellite Centre at the China Academy of Science (CAS). It is speculated that these satellites are signals or electronic intelligence (SIGINT/ELINT) gathering systems that will be used to collect and geolocate radio emissions from ships and are part of the Chinese maritime domain awareness mission. Starting in April 2021, India is gearing up to launch 10 Earth observation satellites, including optical, multi-, and hyperspectral, and synthetic aperture radar satellites.

Nevertheless, with the increase in the frequency of extreme climatic variations in the region, remote sensing satellites have emerged as a necessary tool for disaster management, both pre-emptive and post-calamity. As of July 2021, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was planning to launch a Geo-imaging Earth Observation Satellite named EOS-03 to reassesses work following the COVID-19 induced lockdown. The EOS-03 satellite will enable near-real-time monitoring of natural disasters like floods and cyclones that have become common in the Indian subcontinent as it goes through major environmental and weather changes. In addition to natural disasters, EOS-03 will also enable the monitoring of water bodies, crops, vegetation conditions, and forest cover changes. Also, in July 2021, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO) has announced making Australia's share of the Earth observation satellite NovaSAR-1 available to local researchers, in a bid to support local R&D projects and grow the country's space industry. This would also enable Australian researchers the potential to map, monitor, and manage Australian environments and inform disaster management practices during events such as bushfires and floods.

Competitive Landscape

Though the remote sensing satellite market is characterized by the presence of several players, the market is dominated by only a few players, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Airbus SE, owing to their huge product offering. Since traditional satellite manufacturers are not the sole investors of the market in focus, a radical change in the market dynamics is anticipated to emerge. Hence, to retain their competitive edge, some satellite ventures have plans to manufacture space systems, payloads, or subsystems and components in-house. For instance, in April 2019, OneWeb Satellites, a JV startup formed via the technological support from Airbus, announced its plans to build most of its 900 satellites in-house at a new facility in Florida, the US. Similarly, in April 2017, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Mitsubishi Electric) announced an investment of USD 100 million toward constructing a new satellite production facility in Japan. Such developments are expected to alter the traditional business transaction between commercial satellite manufacturers and operators. Also, major technological shifts such as miniaturization, and the advent of reusable satellite launch vehicle systems would necessitate subsequent adaptation for seizing emerging market opportunities. Moreover, owing to the long R&D period associated with the satellite industry, some companies are exposed to certain risks associated with design responsibility, the development of new production tools, more capital and funding commitments, delivery schedules, and unique contractual requirements. These risks, if not resolved swiftly, can affect the financial status of the market players and expose them to revenue fluctuations.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support

This product will be delivered within 2 business days.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Airbus SE
  • Esri
  • Maxar Technologies Ltd.
  • Planet Labs, Inc.
  • Thales Group
  • The Boeing Company

1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Market Drivers
4.3 Market Restraints
4.4 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 by Value - USD billion)
5.1 Application
5.1.1 Earth Observation
5.1.2 Meteorology
5.1.3 Mapping and Navigation
5.2 End-user
5.2.1 Defense
5.2.2 Commercial
5.3 Geography
5.3.1 North America United States Canada
5.3.2 Europe United Kingdom France Germany Russia Rest of Europe
5.3.3 Asia-Pacific China India Japan South Korea Rest of Asia-Pacific
5.3.4 Latin America Brazil Peru Rest of Latin America
5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia Iran Rest of Middle-East and Africa
6.1 Vendor Market Share
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Airbus SE
6.2.2 Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
6.2.3 The Boeing Company
6.2.4 Esri
6.2.5 ImageSat International N.V.
6.2.6 Maxar Technologies Ltd.
6.2.7 Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
6.2.8 Planet Labs, Inc.
6.2.9 Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC)
6.2.10 Thales Group
6.2.11 UrtheCast Corp.
6.2.12 Lockheed Martin Corporation
6.2.13 Northrop Grumman Corporation
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Airbus SE
  • Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
  • The Boeing Company
  • Esri
  • ImageSat International N.V.
  • Maxar Technologies Ltd.
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • Planet Labs, Inc.
  • Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC)
  • Thales Group
  • UrtheCast Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown