Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Statistics 2021-2030:
The global nanosatellite and microsatellite market was valued at $2.23 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $8.69 billion in 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.9%.
Microsatellites and nanosatellites are miniature man-made satellites that are deployed in the space for a variety of purposes, including gathering data about the earth and space. These satellites are categorized by their entire mass, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Nanosatellites are artificial satellites having a weight between 1 kg 10Kg, while microsatellites weigh between 11–100 kg. In addition, nanosatellites with standard dimensions “U” or Units of 10 × 10 × 10 are known as CubeSats.
Microsatellites and nanosatellites are less expensive than standard satellites and are used for various applications, for instance, space research, communication, and commercial purposes. There is an increase in the demand for such satellites because of their faster development cycles, lightweight characteristics, high capability of executing complex computing jobs, and reduced launch costs. Major players such as GomSpace, Planet Labs, and Sierra Nevada Corporation, are launching constellations of micro and nanosatellites on a regular basis to provide a large extent and range of satellite-based services.
Factors, such as small size and weight in comparison with conventional satellites and rise in manufacturing and launch of CubeSats are expected to drive the growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market. However, limitations of small satellites regarding payload accommodation and stringent government regulations restrains the market growth. Moreover, increase in demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites from the commercial sector and increase in demand for satellite data are projected to offer lucrative growth opportunities for the market players.
The market is segmented on the basis of end user, application, orbit type and region. By end user, the market is divided into civil, government, commercial, and military. On the basis of application, it is classified into communications, earth observation, space science, technology demonstration, and technology development. By orbit type, the market is divided into non-polar inclined, polar, and sun-synchronous. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Key players operating in the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market include AAC Clyde Space AB, Astro Digital, Gomspace, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Planet Labs Inc., Sierra Nevada Corpporation, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., Swarm Technologies Inc., and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc.
Small size and weight in comparison with conventional satellites
Nanosatellites and microsatellites save significant resources. This aids in the removal of hurdles to accessing and exploring space, resulting in a surge in the popularity of small size and weight satellites since their inception. In addition, depending on the requirements, a small satellite (nanosatellite or microsatellite) may be built and placed in orbit at lower costs when compared to the cost of conventional satellites. Apart from the advantages of lower weight and size, the major advantage of small satellites is the brief time it takes to develop them. While a traditional or large satellite takes 5 to 15 years to develop and deploy in orbit, a nanosatellite could be developed and launched in the desired orbit in less than 8 months.
Microsatellites and nanosatellites are often designed for communication, commercial, and space research. There is an increase in the demand for these satellites in the recent years, due to their lightweight characteristics, shorter development cycles, high capability of executing complex computing activities, and cheaper development and launch costs. For instance, York Space Systems announced plans in May 2021 to build a massive manufacturing facility in Denver, U.S. to increase the number of small satellites it produces by about 4 times its current manufacturing capacity. The increased focus of satellite manufacturers toward the development of compact satellites owing to the decreased cost and development time is the key driving factor propelling the growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market during the forecast period.
By End User
Commercial is projected as the most lucrative segments
Rise in manufacturing and launch of CubeSats
CubeSats, a subset of nanosatellites, are defined by the CubeSat Design Specification (CSD), unofficially called the CubeSat standard. CubeSats are manufactured according to standard measurements, in units or U of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm. They are usually built in the formation of 1U/2U/3U/6U/12U or other in size, and usually weigh less than 1.33 kg per unit. Making small satellites as per the CubeSat standards result in the cutting of costs associated with the research and technical development stages, which has resulted in a sharp increase in the popularity of CubeSats since its introduction. Moreover, depending on the specifications, a CubeSat can be manufactured and positioned in orbit, which accounts for a small part in total costs as compared with the costs of involved with the conventional satellite missions. Such benefits associated with CubeSats are anticipated to drive the growth of the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market during the forecast period.
Limitations of small satellites regarding payload accommodation
Nanosatellite and microsatellite are low-cost substitutes for traditional satellites that are increasingly being launched into orbit for several scientific research and commercial applications. Nanosatellites and microsatellites are built in a fraction of the time and cost of larger satellites, reducing the reliance on deployable structures and complex mechanisms. On the other hand, nanosatellites and microsatellites have their own set of limitations. The ability of small satellites to conduct a range of missions is limited by their payload capacity.
Communications is projected as the most lucrative segments
As nanosatellites and microsatellites are compact in size, there are severe constraints on the volume of propulsion, payload, and other subsystems that could be equipped with them. The increased impulse required for space manoeuvre necessitates the use of additional propellant, which further limits the capacity for any scientific equipment or payload planned to be carried by the nanosatellite/microsatellite. Nanosatellite and microsatellite’s lack of space also restricts their ability to carry key components which are required to carry out complicated missions. Due to the limited volume of small satellites, another constraint, which is poor power generation, has been observed.
Nanosatellites and microsatellites are being used by a variety of researchers to carry out biological, interdisciplinary research, and planetary science missions. However, the capabilities or information that can be gathered are severely restricted, due to the lack of propulsion systems for on-orbit manoeuvring, strong attitude determination and control systems, and power generation by small satellites. This factor is expected to limit the growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market during the forecast period.
By Orbit Type
Sun-Synchronous is projected as the most lucrative segments
Increase in demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites from the commercial sector
Satellite manufacturers' intense emphasis on lowering the cost of small satellites has aided the adoption of nanosatellites and microsatellites for offering cutting-edge services such as broadband internet, satellite TV, and other services. Nanosatellites and microsatellites can be built with reusable and low-cost hardware components and technology. Since nanosatellites and microsatellites are compact and lightweight, they do not require a specialized launch vehicle like regular satellites which further reduces launch costs by up to 40%.
Miniaturization of components and related software has prompted established private companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in nanosatellites and microsatellites. Microelectronic innovations such as lightweight apertures, antennas, panels, trans receivers, control sensors & actuators, and multispectral imagers are expected to boost the efficiency and processing power of nanosatellites and microsatellites, while reducing the complexities associated with traditional satellites, making them easier to assemble and test. Industry leaders such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, are developing reusable space launch vehicles that may be used for many flights, thereby lowering the project costs involving nanosatellites and microsatellites. The increased demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites by commercial organizations presents an opportunity for the growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific would exhibit the highest CAGR of 16.4% during 2021-2030.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
- The COVID-19 impact on the nanosatellite and microsatellite market is unpredictable, and is expected to remain in force for a few years.
- The COVID-19 outbreak forced governments across the globe to implement stringent lockdown and ban import–export of essential raw materials items for most of 2020 & few months in 2021. This led to sudden fall in the availability of important raw materials for manufacturing nano and micro satellites.
- Moreover, nationwide lockdown forced parts manufacturing facilities to partially or completely shut their operations.
- Adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in delays in activities and initiatives regarding development of state-of-the-art nanosatellites and microsatellites globally.
Key Benefits For Stakeholders
- This study presents analytical depiction of the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict imminent investment pockets.
- The overall nanosatellite and microsatellite market opportunity is determined by understanding profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
- The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market with a detailed impact analysis.
- The current nanosatellite and microsatellite market is quantitatively analyzed from 2020 to 2030 to benchmark the financial competency.
- Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the industry.
Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Report Highlights
By END USER
By ORBIT TYPE
Key Market Players
SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., Astro Digital, AAC Clyde Space AB, PLANET LABS INC, L3HARRIS TECHNOLOGIES, INC., GOMSPACE, Swarm Technologies, Inc., LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
The nanosatellite and microsatellite market is expected to witness significant growth globally due to the rise in deployment of advanced communication and monitoring technologies across the world. Nanosatellite and microsatellite adoption in the commercial sector is being driven by a greater focus on lowering costs associated with satellites. Leading market players are making advanced platforms and applications to meet customers' growing demands, in addition to investigating innovative technologies and applications via technological demonstrations and scientific research.
Companies all over the world are launching constellations of nanosatellites or microsatellites into orbit for earth observation and telecommunications applications. Microsatellites and nanosatellites can provide high-resolution imagery for uses in civil engineering & construction, defense & intelligence, agriculture & forestry, transportation, real estate, governance, and other fields.
Among the analyzed regions, North America dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2021, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness a lucrative growth rate during the forecast period, owing to rise in satellite manufacturing and launch capabilities being improved by countries such as China, India, and Japan, along with rise in investments by private players and government in this market in the region.