According to Euroconsult's newly released research, Prospects for the Small Satellite Market, the market for small satellite (smallsat) manufacturing and launch will grow from $12.6 billion in 2009-2018 to $42.8 billion in the coming decade from 2019-2028, nearly quadrupling in size. While the growth is led by large constellations such as OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the findings show that the smallsat industry is highly diverse, with demand from a variety of operators, start-ups, universities, and countries.
With data on the period from 2009-2018 for historical trends and 2019-2028 for forecasts, Prospects for the Small Satellite Market is a comprehensive resource for assessment of both current and future trends. It quantifies the changing landscape in the context of market drivers and their impact.
“The smallsat market continues to grow in significance for investors, manufacturers, the supply chain, and a range of other stakeholders,” said Alexandre Najjar, Euroconsult Consultant and editor of the report. “Our report is an essential tool for strategic planning with an unbiased analysis of current and future trends. It provides tangible evidence of the increasing demand for smaller and more capable spacecraft
Among the report’s key findings are data points such as:
In 2017 and 2018 there was a 93 percent increase in the number of smallsats launched compared to 2014-2016.
8,600 smallsats will be launched in the next decade, at an average of 835 each year by 2023, growing to an average of 880 per year by 2028.
Constellations account for 83 percent of the satellites to be launched by 2028.
The number of smallsats to launch in the next ten years increased by 22 percent over the forecast in the last edition of this report.
Satellites in the 250-500 kilogram mass range represented six percent of the total number of satellites launched between 2009-2018, but will grow to 18 percent of the satellites launched in the next ten years.
Smallsats under ten kilograms, such as 3U cubesats, will account for 28 percent of the smallsats launched in the next decade, but only two percent of the total market value.
Broadband satellite communication should witness the strongest growth with close to 4,200 satellites expected from 2019 to 2028.
Find out more on our research on the smallsat market by downloading an extract here.
About the research
To examine the strategic issues, Euroconsult breaks the smallsat market into six satellite applications, with separate forecasts for telecom, Earth observation, information, security, science and exploration as well as technology satellites. The market drivers in each of these segments include global, low-latency communications; high-frequency change detection; air and sea traffic monitoring and IoT; technology demonstration; soft power and national security. In addition to breaking down market size and growth by application, Euroconsult focuses on the status of the large constellations, including a maturity assessment. It also highlights investment trends, the impact of U.S. government policy, and the significance of M&As on the smallsat industry.
Advances in numerous types of technology are driving improved performance and capabilities, and in some cases, smaller spacecraft are replacing demand for satellites over 500 kilograms. The report breaks down both hardware and software advances by subsystem with a focus on miniaturization, payload design, propulsion and the entire value chain. Over the ten-year period that the report covers, these advances are forecast to drive a decrease in the cost per kilogram for smallsats.
Smallsat Launch Market
Euroconsult projects that 30 percent of the smallsat market value from 2019-2028 will be dedicated to launch services, with more growth in this sector than in the manufacturing sector. The report includes significant focus on the launch market, with sections on the distribution of launch supply and demand, and pricing and capacity for selected launchers. Currently, smallsat operators mainly use medium to heavy launchers that are contracted directly or through launch brokers. However, many dedicated smallsat launchers are in development and the report observes growing diversity in launch services with a focus on responsiveness to market needs. This comes with varying quality of service and reliability.