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CubeSat Market

CubeSat Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Size, Application, End User and Subsystem : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027

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Author's: Mayank Halmare| Himanshu Joshi | Lalit Janardhan Katare
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CubeSat Market Statistics 2020-2027

The global CubeSat market was valued at $210.1 million in 2019, and is projected to reach $ 491.3 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 15.1%.    

A CubeSat is a cubical-shaped small satellite measuring 10x10x10 cm3- approximately the dimension of the popular Rubik's cube weighs around 1 kg. A CubeSat can be used as a single unit (1 U) or in clusters of several units or U’s (1U, 2U, 3U, 6U, and 12U, among others). For more than a span of 10 years, CubeSats have eased the space launches. They are cost-effective solutions that have eased the launch of missions for low-Earth orbit for commercial companies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. These miniaturized satellites provide opportunities to perform several scientific studies and technology demos in space in a cost-effective, timely, and relatively easy manner. 


The United States has been leading the way in CubeSats innovation right from their inception. NASA, in cooperation with academic institutions, has played a pivotal role in driving forward CubeSat technology. It has established the CubeSat standard, which has become the worldwide yardstick for CubeSat design. NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) regularly presents opportunities for CubeSat developers to catch a ride to space on a variety of missions. This initiative has been instrumental in expediting the progress and deployment of CubeSats.

Illustrations of U.S. Impact:

Planet Labs, headquartered in California, is a prime example. The company operates one of the most extensive constellations of Earth-observing CubeSats. They have brought about a revolution in Earth imaging, supplying high-resolution, nearly real-time imagery to a diverse clientele, ranging from environmental agencies to agricultural enterprises.

Cubesat Proximity Operations Demonstration (CPOD): NASA's CPOD mission, launched in 2018, demonstrated close-proximity operations of CubeSats in orbit, paving the way for advanced autonomous capabilities and on-orbit servicing.

Private Launch Providers: Companies like Launcher, SpaceX and Rocket Lab offer dedicated CubeSat launch opportunities, reducing costs and increasing access to space for CubeSat developers. For instance, Space startup Launcher will soon fly an orbital platform filled with CubeSats on a SpaceX rocket in year 2022.

On the other side, China has swiftly risen to prominence as a key player in the worldwide CubeSat market. With a growing space sector and an ambitious agenda for space exploration, China has achieved notable progress in CubeSat technology.

Examples of China's Influence:

The Long March 6 Rocket: China's Long March 6 rocket is specifically designed to launch CubeSats. It provides reliable and affordable access to space for CubeSat operators globally.

Queqiao Relay Satellite: China's Queqiao relay satellite, launched in 2018, played a crucial role in the Chang'e 4 mission, which successfully landed on the far side of the Moon. This mission utilized cubesats for relay communication, showcasing their potential in deep space exploration.

Commercial Partnerships: Chinese companies, like i-Space and LandSpace, are entering the CubeSat launch market, providing additional options for CubeSat deployment.

The CubeSats are widely used by researchers and experts across the globe for the exploration of space. The small size and weight characteristics of CubeSats make them quite suitable to rapidly manufacture and test, which makes them a perfect and inexpensive entity for the exploration of upcoming technologies and ideas. 

Small size and weight in comparison with conventional satellites are anticipated to boost the CubeSat market during the forecast period. However, the limitations of CubeSats regarding payload accommodation as compared with large satellites are expected to hamper the growth of the CubeSat market over the forecast timeframe.

The market segmentation is based on size, application, end-user, subsystem, and region. The size segment is further divided as 0.25U to 1U, 1 to 3U, 3U to 6U, 6U to 12U, and 12U and above. Based on application, the market is segmented into earth observation & traffic monitoring, science & technology, and education, space observation, communication, and others. Government & military, commercial, and non-profit organizations are covered on the basis of end-user. Depending on the subsystem, the market is classified into payloads, structures, electrical power systems, command & data handling, propulsion systems, attitude determination & control systems, and others. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Key players operating in the global CubeSat market include Planet Labs Inc., GomSpace, AAC Clyde Space, Endurosat, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, Innovative Solutions In Space B.V., Space Inventor, Pumpkin Space Systems, and CU Aerospace, L.L.C.

Rising demand for Cubesats from several commercial applications 

The CubeSats are small in size and weight, but this doesn’t diminish their capabilities and are today used across several commercial applications; for instance, communication and IoT, geolocation and logistics, and signal monitoring (SIGINT), as demonstrated in the following paragraphs.

CubeSat Market
By Size
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0.25U to 1U is projected as the most lucrative segments

The growing usage of CubeSats has laid the foundation for increased deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) on a worldwide scale, enabling the interconnection of areas of the Earth without ground communication through the setups in space. The world is witnessing an increasing number of sensor-driven devices that require global communications and connections.

The detection and monitoring of assets such as ships, aircraft, and vehicles among others, can be quite unmanageable in places devoid of land cover. CubeSat constellations, located in space and providing access to images across the globe, can give access to real-time information of various assets anywhere on the Earth.  CubeSats can aid the present network technologies by offering intricate logistics administration solutions. 

CubeSat Market
By Application
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Science Technology and Education is projected as the most lucrative segments

CubeSats are able to monitor radio signals transmitted from the ground stations. This offers an advantage in the event of a disaster when they can provide prior information with respect to the degree of impact and the most adversely affected areas, permitting efficient planning for relief and rescue operations. 

New application areas for CubeSats

With the rising capabilities and usability of CubeSats, owing to the technological developments in electronics and communications, modern satellites are being developed for new applications such as space mining and space debris clean-up, among others. With respect to space mining, some of the private corporations have already initiated projects aimed at the utilization of minerals, energy resources, and water, located in outer space. For instance, Planetary Resources in 2018 successfully launched its Arkyd-6, a 6U CubeSat to discover water resources in space, with the objective of stimulating the impending human expansion in space. 

CubeSat Market
By End User
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Commercial is projected as the most lucrative segments

The most advanced CubeSats are being designed to enter the Earth’s atmosphere as soon as their mission is completed so that the satellites can breakdown and don’t lead to the accumulation of space debris, however, this is not always the case. Space debris is one of the major issues for the deployment of satellites and space vehicles. Owing to the growing initiatives by the key players, there are on-going projects involving the small satellites learning the ways to remove the debris. For instance, the RemoveDebris project is intended at executing crucial active debris removal (ADR) technology tests in quest of the finest methods to clean-up the space debris. The incorporation of CubeSats in delivering innovative solutions is anticipated to drive the growth of the global CubeSats market during the forecast timeframe.

Limitations of CubeSats regarding payload accommodation

CubeSats are cost-effective solutions that are being launched increasingly into space for scientific explorations and commercial applications. CubeSats are built in relatively less time and cost as compared with conventional satellites minimizes the dependency on deployable structures and complex mechanisms and allows mission disaggregation. However, CubeSats have their share of limitations too. One of the main problems with respect to the range of missions that Cubesats can perform is the accommodation of payloads.  The small size of CubeSats leads to strict restrictions on the volumes of propulsion, payload, and other subsystems. The higher ΔV (impulse required to perform a maneuver) missions need more propellant that results in less volume for any scientific instrument or payload intended to fly onboard the CubeSat. The lack of space in the CubeSat also limits its capability of carrying important subsystems that CubeSats require to execute a complex mission. 

CubeSat Market
By Subsystem
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Electrical Power Systems is projected as the most lucrative segments

Another limitation observed owing to the small volumes of CubeSats is its low power generation. CubeSats come in multiples of the standard U (equivalent to roughly 4 x 4 x 4 in.) cube. Various researchers are making use of CubeSats to perform several biological, multidisciplinary research, and planetary science missions. But, the possibility of the capacities or information that can be acquired is quite limited owing to the lack of propulsion system for on-orbit maneuvering, robust attitude determination and control systems, and power generation by the CubeSats.

Increase in demand for space data

The range and scope of services that could be provided by satellites are limitless. The demand for the services, for instance, surveillance for military, environmental or public safety applications, navigation and positioning, tracking vehicles, and telecommunication offered by the satellites is growing rapidly across the world. The largest demand is anticipated to arise from the telecommunications industry, which has been making use of space for its services for several years now and is a crucial part of the global infrastructure for communications and commercial & government data transfer and applications. Moreover, the demand for Earth observation (EO) data is increasing for different applications, and has increased requirements for the environment & scientific research, and metrology. The demand for space data is also growing for guaranteeing security in military operations and in money transfer applications. The rising demand for space data is anticipated to propel the demand for cost-effective CubeSats over the forecast timeframe.  

CubeSat Market
By Region
North America 

Asia Pacific would exhibit the highest CAGR of 16.6% during 2020-2027.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

  • The COVID impact on the CubeSat market is marginal and it is expected to remain in force till the second quarter of 2021. 
  • The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the governments across the globe to focus on medical services. Owing to this, the countries are reducing their budgets for space programs to help pay for the pandemic response and recovery measures.
  • Moreover, the nationwide lockdown forced the manufacturing facilities of the CubeSat to shut down or cut the full fledge opening of the facilities. 
  • However, despite the negative impact of COVID-19, the CubeSat industry managed to perform moderately and several CubeSats were launched in 2020. For instance, CubeSats missions such as DeMi, TechEdSat-10, Gundam, TDO-2, Flock-4e, Flock-4v constellations, and SpaceBee, among others. This steady growth in CubeSat missions can be attributed to low cost, but efficient operations of the CubeSats and the rising participation of private players in the market.

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • This study presents the analytical depiction of the global CubeSat market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict imminent investment pockets.
  • The overall CubeSat market opportunity is determined by understanding profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
  • The report presents information related to the key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the global CubeSat market with a detailed impact analysis.
  • The current CubeSat market is quantitatively analyzed from 2019 to 2027 to benchmark the financial competency.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the industry.

CubeSat Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
By Size
  • 0.25U to 1U
  • 1 to 3U
  • 3U to 6U
  • 6U to 12U
  • 12U and Above
By Application
  • Earth Observation and Traffic Monitoring
  • Science Technology and Education
  • Space Observation
  • Communication
  • Others
By End User
  • Government and Military
  • Commercial
  • Non-profit Organizations
By Subsystem
  • Payloads
  • Structures
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • Command and Data Handling
  • Propulsion Systems
  • Attitude Determination and Control Systems
  • Others
By Region
  • North America  (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (Germany, France, Russia, UK, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific  (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Latin America, Middle East, Africa)
  • Planet Labs Inc.
  • GomSpace
  • AAC Clyde Space
  • Endurosat
  • Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc.
  • Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
  • Innovative Solutions In Space B.V.
  • Space Inventor
  • Pumpkin Space Systems
  • CU Aerospace, L.L.C.

Analyst Review

CubeSats are miniaturized satellites that are quite simple to design, develop, and launch as compared with the traditional satellites. A CubeSat is a cubical-shaped small satellite measuring 10x10x10 cm3- approximately the dimension of the popular Rubik's cube weighs around 1 kg. The global CubeSat market is expected to witness significant growth due to rising demand for CubeSats from several commercial applications. 

Small size and weight in comparison with conventional satellites and new application areas for CubeSats are expected to drive and provide CubeSat market opportunity during the forecast period. However, limitations of CubeSats regarding payload accommodation and stringent government regulations regarding the CubeSats are anticipated to hamper the growth of the market. Moreover, the developments of the technologies to enhance CubeSat capabilities and increase in demand for space data are expected to offer lucrative opportunities in future. 

CubeSat launches are advantageous in several ways. CubeSats deployed for Earth observation missions help meteorologists to forecast the direction and strength of the storms. While the CubeSats launched for technological demonstration purposes assist in finding the best materials and processes that yield the most valuable resources and work finest in microgravity settings. 

The CubeSats not only offers a practical solution for demonstrating innovative technologies but also forces tremendous diminishment of the payloads and systems that boosts the new approaches for spacecraft integration. CubeSats can acquire real-time interpretations of their environment and provide an affordable tool to launch smaller payloads. The most striking feature of CubeSats in terms of scientific exploration is that it offers versatility in space exploration missions that have the capability to provide much-required data about the solar system.

Moreover, commercial applications of CubeSats hold promising potential in enhancing the communication services and in gaining prior information about any adverse climatic conditions. The increased participation of private players is anticipated to bring down the cost of CubeSat missions over the years.

Among the analyzed regions, North America is the highest revenue contributor, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. On the basis of forecast analysis, North America is expected to maintain its lead during the forecast period, owing to the presence of sophisticated infrastructure to undertake space programs and large number of CubeSat manufacturers.

Author Name(s) : Mayank Halmare| Himanshu Joshi | Lalit Janardhan Katare
Frequently Asked Questions?

The global CubeSat market was valued at $ 210.1 million in 2019, and is projected to reach $ 491.31 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 15.1% from 2020 to 2027.

The manufacturing and deployment of CubeSat is expected to attain a rapid pace owing to rising demand across several applications (for instance, Earth Observation and Traffic Monitoring, Science Technology and Education, Communication among others)

The report sample for global CubeSat market report can be obtained on demand from the website.

Increased usage of underwater drones for earth observation and satellite data gathering

Agreements, Product Launch, and Partnerships are the top most competitive developments which are adopted by the leading market players in the global market

The company profiles of the top ten players of the market can be obtained from the company profile section mentioned in the report. This section includes analysis of top ten player’s operating in the industry along with their last three year revenue, segmental revenue, product offerings, key strategies adopted, and geographical revenue generated

Based on the CubeSat market analysis, North America region accounted for the highest revenue contributor in 2019 and Asia-Pacific region is expected to see a lucrative business opportunities during the forecast period

By Application Science Technology and Education is expected to gain traction over the forecast period.

The U.S and China has are key matured markets growing in the global CubeSat market

The demand for satellite data management and geo research; and increasing involvement of private players

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CubeSat Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027