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Low-Cost Satellite Market Research Report Information By Satellite Type (Minisatellite, Microsatellite, Nanosatellite, And Others), By Application (Communication, Imaging, Navigation, And others), By End-Use (Military, Civil, And Commercial) And By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, And Rest Of The World) โ€“Market Forecast Till 2032

ID: MRFR/A&D/5670-CR | 131 Pages | Author: Sejal Akre| May 2023

Global Low-Cost Satellite Market Overview

Low-Cost Satellite Market Size was valued at USD 0.23 billion in 2023.  The Low-Cost Satellite market is projected to grow from USD 0.253 Billion in 2024 to USD 0.49 billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.61% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032).  Increasing focus on small satellite cost reduction and increased demand for low-cost satellites in low-Earth orbit applications are the key market drivers enhancing the market growth.

Low-Cost Satellite Market

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Low-Cost Satellite Market Trends

  • Rapid development and deployment of low-cost satellites are driving the market growth.

The rapid development and deployment of low-cost satellites refer to the trend of designing, manufacturing, and launching smaller and less expensive satellites into orbit.  Earlier, satellite development was a costly and time-consuming procedure only available to governments and major enterprises with enormous resources.  However, technological advances and manufacturing methods have made it possible to create and launch smaller spacecraft for a fraction of the cost of typical satellites.  These low-cost satellites can range in size from CubeSats (compact, standardized satellites approximately the size of a shoebox) to small satellites weighing a few hundred kilograms.  They frequently utilize off-the-shelf components and can be launched as secondary payloads on rockets carrying larger satellites or other payloads, dramatically reducing the cost of getting them into space.  This development has created new potential for Earth observation, remote sensing, communication, and scientific inquiry.  Low-cost satellites, for example, can track weather patterns, wildlife movement, and agricultural health and provide internet service to remote places.

Introducing low-cost satellite 3D printing is one of the most recent low-cost satellite market trends gaining popularity.  3D printing offers cost-effective and just-in-time manufacturing of satellite parts and quick design and rapid adjustments to internal satellite features.  Furthermore, by using 3D printing, researchers or manufacturers can entirely automate the satellite production process, reducing the duration of satellite manufacturing.  These 3D printing benefits are estimated to greatly contribute to expanding the low-cost satellite market during the forecast period.  Airbus Defence and Space announced a contract with 3D printing company EOS in 2019 to build satellite parts using metal 3D printing technology.  The collaboration aims to develop more efficient and cost-effective satellite manufacturing procedures.  NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) revealed in 2020 that it had 3D printed, essential CubeSat components such as the structure, solar panels, and propulsion system.  The launch of the 3D-printed CubeSat was planned for 2021.  According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the number of satellites launched yearly has continuously increased, with a record-breaking 1,327 spacecraft launched in 2020.  Over the next decade, more than 10,000 smallsats will be launched.

The deployment of satellite constellations is one of the key trends in low-cost satellites.  Satellite constellations are groups of satellites that operate together to provide services like Earth observation, communication, and navigation.  These constellations are intended to give global coverage and high-frequency data, particularly beneficial for the Internet of Things (IoT) and remote sensing applications.  Several companies are investing in satellite constellations with the objective of making space-based services more affordable and accessible.  SpaceX's Starlink, for example, is a satellite constellation of thousands of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that aims to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to remote locations worldwide.  Another LEO satellite constellation aiming to deliver global high-speed internet connectivity is OneWeb.  Furthermore, Planet and Spire Global are deploying smallsat constellations for Earth monitoring and weather forecasting.  Technological advances, such as the miniaturization of satellite components, the development of low-cost launch vehicles, and advancements in communication networks, have enabled the trend toward satellite constellations.

Low-Cost Satellite Market Segment Insights

Low-Cost Satellite Satellite Type Insights

The Low-Cost Satellite Market segmentation, based on satellite type, includes Minisatellite, Microsatellite, Nanosatellite, and Others.  The Nanosatellite segment is expected to hold the largest market shares during the forecast period.  Due to the increasing deployment of nanosatellites for Earth observation missions, the nanosatellites category accounted for a revenue share of more than 79% in 2021.  Earth observation satellite data is extremely useful for enhancing water management, tracking refugee populations, conducting relief efforts, and national defense.  A nanosatellite has further improved navigation and transportation capabilities, resulting in better safety records, more efficient routes, and cheaper operational costs.

Microsatellite is expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the low-cost satellite market during the forecast period.  Microsatellites are small spacecraft that generally weigh 10-100 kg and are used for various applications.  Microsatellites can be used for communication applications such as providing internet service in rural places or assisting military communications.  In conjunction with Space Flight Laboratory, Space-SI, Slovenia's Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies, launched the country's first microsatellite, NEMO-HD, carrying multispectral high-definition Earth observation equipment in 2020.  This device shoots high-definition video at a rate of 25 frames per second.  This satellite's video data and photos will be used to monitor forestry, agriculture, urban growth, and maritime transportation.

Low-Cost Satellite Application Insights

The Low-Cost Satellite Market segmentation, based on application, includes Communication, Imaging, Navigation, and others.  The communication segment is expected to hold the largest market share over the forecast period.  Low-cost satellites have a wide range of communications applications, including connectivity to current Internet of Things (IoT) networks.  Low-cost satellites are favored due to their shorter propagation delays when compared to large satellites (which orbit in higher earth orbits, such as geostationary orbits).  Furthermore, the introduction of 5G technology is expected to increase demand for low-cost satellites during the forecast period significantly.

Low-Cost Satellite End-Use Insights

The Low-Cost Satellite Market segmentation, based on end-use, includes Military, Civil, and Commercial.  The Military segment is expected to dominate the low-cost satellite market during the forecast period.  Low-cost satellites, particularly microsatellites and nanosatellites, are in high demand for military purposes.  These satellites are well suited to launch on-demand for military and defense-specific space operations in the coming years.  Furthermore, low-cost satellites can be used for anti-satellite applications by moving the spacecraft (with soft and hard skill payloads) near the targeted satellite and activating them at the appropriate time.

July 2021 The Netherlands launched its first military satellite.  Virgin Orbit's BRIK II nanosatellite was launched into orbit around the Earth.  BRIK II is an experimental project of the Royal Netherlands Air Force that represents the country's military's first foray into space.

Figure 1: Low-Cost Satellite Market, by End-Use, 2022 & 2032 (USD billion)

Low-Cost Satellite Market, by End-Use, 2022 & 2032

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Low-Cost Satellite Regional Insights

By Region, the study provides market insights into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World.  The North American region is expected to lead the Low-Cost Satellite market throughout the forecast period.  There is an increased demand for low-cost satellite deployments in North America, as well as developments in digital satellite technology made by NASA, the US Department of Defense, and private entities such as SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Lucix Corporation, which have led to the expansion of the low-cost satellite market.  The successful launch of flexible satellites into space has boosted the number of space trips.

Furthermore, the major countries covered in the market report are The U.S., Canada, German, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil.



Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review

Europe Low-Cost Satellite market is expected to hold the second-largest market share during the forecast period.  This is due to the increased need for high-speed internet connectivity and the rising demand for Earth observation data in Europe.  Further, the German Low-Cost Satellite market held the largest market share, and the UK Low-Cost Satellite market was the fastest-growing market in the European region.

The Asia-Pacific Low-Cost Satellite Market is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR from 2023 to 2032.  This is owing to the rapid growth of the telecom industry and increased government efforts in the Asia-Pacific region to provide Internet connectivity, particularly in emerging countries.  Moreover, China’s Low-Cost Satellite market held the largest market share, and the Indian Low-Cost Satellite market was the fastest-growing market in the Asia-Pacific region.

Low-Cost Satellite Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

The top market players are extensively investing in R&D to increase their product lines, which will aid in the growth of the Low-Cost Satellite market.  Significant market developments include new product releases, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, increased investments, and collaboration with other organizations.  The Low-Cost Satellite sector must produce cost-effective products to flourish and thrive in a more competitive and expanding market climate.

Manufacturing locally to decrease operational costs is a fundamental business approach manufacturers utilize in the global Low-Cost Satellite industry to serve clients and expand the market sector.  Some of the most substantial gains have recently come from the Low-Cost Satellite sector.  Major players in the Low-Cost Satellite market, including Dauria Aerospace (Russia), Planet Labs Inc. (US), Axelspace Corporation (Japan), L3Harris Technologies Inc. (US), SpaceX (US), Thales Alenia Space (France), and others, are trying to surge market demand by spending in research and development operations.

Raytheon's subsidiary Blue Canyon Technologies has been developing turnkey small satellite solutions for several years, including CubeSats and microsatellites.  Based on its high-performance attitude determination and control components, the company specializes in precision pointing platforms.  A high-performance, highly reliable, low-cost spacecraft system or component developed by BCT will be used for academic, commercial, or government missions.  The company's cutting-edge spacecraft and subsystems enable LEO, GEO, Lunar, and interplanetary missions. BCT has supported missions for the United States Air Force, NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and many others, as well as providing Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats that successfully traveled to Mars.  The company has received numerous honors, including Inc Magazine's 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, 2017 Colorado Companies to Watch, 2019 Best in Biz, the 2019 Colorado Biz Made in Colorado Emerging Manufacturer Winner, and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.  In November 2020, Blue Canyon Technologies Inc, which provides small satellites, announced the signing of a contract for the acquisition by Raytheon Technologies. This company provides astounding aerospace and defense systems and services to the Government, military, and private sector commercial dealings globally.

Thales Alenia Space provides cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science, and orbital infrastructures based on over 40 years of experience and a unique blend of talents, expertise, and cultures.  Thales Alenia Space is trusted by governments and commercial sectors alike to design satellite-based technologies that enable anytime, anywhere connectivity and navigation, monitor our planet, improve resource management, and explore the company's Solar System and beyond.  Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon that can be used to help construct a better, more sustainable world.  In addition to its joint venture with Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space cooperates with Telespazio to establish its Space Alliance, which provides full-range services.  Thales Alenia Space had consolidated revenues of around 2.2 billion euros in 2022 and employed approximately 8,500 people.  The company operates in ten countries, with 17 locations in Europe and one in the United States.  Thales Alenia Space merged in collaboration with Hemera in June 2019 for the collaborative development of the advanced nanosatellite arena and delivered the dedicated antennas, payload, and ground segment.

Key Companies in the Low-Cost Satellite market include

  • Dauria Aerospace (Russia)

  • Planet Labs Inc. (US)

  • Axelspace Corporation (Japan)

  • L3Harris Technologies Inc. (US)

  • SpaceX (US)

  • Thales Alenia Space (France)

  • Spire Global Inc. (US)

  • Bradford Space (US)

  • Sierra Nevada Corporation (US)

  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (US)

  • OneWeb (UK)

  • OHB AG (Germany)

  • Geooptics Inc. (US)

Low-Cost Satellite Industry Developments

January 2022 Virgin Orbit has released seven CubeSats into orbit for three clients on the third consecutive successful operational flight of its LauncherOne air-launch system.  Two of the satellites were built by SatRevolution, a Polish smallsat developer.  One satellite was built by Spire Global in collaboration with the Austrian Space Forum and Findus Venture GmbH to monitor the orbital debris environment.  The remaining four satellites were acquired through the Defense Department's Space Test Program.

November 2021 SpaceX reported that it had successfully placed 53 Starlink satellites in the launch of the broadband constellation.  Falcon 9 was used to launch the satellites.  Over 1,800 Starlink satellites have been launched by the corporation for global coverage of satellite internet services.

Low-Cost Satellite Market Segmentation

Low-Cost Satellite Satellite Type Outlook

  • Minisatellite

  • Microsatellite

  • Nanosatellite

  • Others

Low-Cost Satellite Application Outlook

  • Communication

  • Imaging

  • Navigation

  • others

Low-Cost Satellite End-Use Outlook

  • Military

  • Civil

  • Commercial

Low-Cost Satellite Regional Outlook

  • North America

    • US

    • Canada

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • Australia

    • South Korea

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific

  • Rest of the World

    • Middle East

    • Africa

    • Latin America

Report Attribute/Metric Details
Market Size 2023 USD 0.23 billion
Market Size 2024 USD 0.25 billion
Market Size 2032 USD 0.49 billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 8.61% (2024-2032)
Base Year 2023
Market Forecast Period 2024-2032
Historical Data 2019- 2022
Market Forecast Units Value (USD Billion)
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Market Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Segments Covered Satellite Type, Application, End-Use, and Region
Geographies Covered North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World
Countries Covered The U.S., Canada, German, France, UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil
Key Companies Profiled Dauria Aerospace (Russia), Planet Labs Inc. (US), Axelspace Corporation (Japan), L3Harris Technologies Inc. (US), SpaceX (US), Thales Alenia Space (France), Spire Global Inc. (US), Bradford Space (US), Sierra Nevada Corporation (US), Lockheed Martin Corporation (US), OneWeb (UK), OHB AG (Germany) and Geooptics Inc. (US)
Key Market Opportunities The rapid development and deployment of low-cost satellites
Key Market Dynamics Increasing focus on small satellite cost reduction, Increased demand for low-cost satellites in low-Earth orbit applications

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The Low-Cost Satellite Market size was valued at USD 0.23 Billion in 2023.

The global market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.61% during the forecast period, 2024-2032.

North America had the largest share in the global market

The key players in the market are Dauria Aerospace (Russia), Planet Labs Inc. (US), Axelspace Corporation (Japan), L3Harris Technologies Inc. (US), SpaceX (US), Thales Alenia Space (France), Spire Global Inc. (US), Bradford Space (US), Sierra Nevada Corporation (US), Lockheed Martin Corporation (US), OneWeb (UK), OHB AG (Germany) and Geooptics Inc. (US).

The Nanosatellite category dominated the market in 2022.

The Communication segment had the largest share in the global market.

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