The small satellite market is estimated to be worth $3.2 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $7.0 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% during this period. The increasing capabilities of small satellites, thanks to advancements in technology and the integration of commercial-off-the-shelf electronic circuits, are driving the demand for these satellites.
The commercial segment is expected to account for the largest share of the small satellite market in 2023. One of the main factors driving this demand is the reduction in launch costs. Launching a satellite into orbit used to be prohibitively expensive, but with the emergence of new launch firms like SpaceX and Rocket Lab, the cost has significantly decreased. This has led to the development of small satellite constellations and increased investments from the private sector in space research and satellite communication services.
In terms of applications, the Earth observation segment is expected to dominate the market in 2023. Small satellites provide cost-efficient and frequent data collection, making them ideal for industries such as agriculture, environmental monitoring, and disaster management. The high-resolution imagery offered by small satellites enhances decision-making, resource optimization, and risk reduction, leading to increased investment in Earth observation solutions.
The satellite bus segment holds the largest market share in the small satellite market. The demand for satellite bus is driven by its adoption in various applications such as earth observation, communication, and research. As new technologies and applications are introduced, it is anticipated that the small satellite bus segment will continue to expand and diversify in the coming years.
The Ku-band frequency segment is projected to dominate the small satellite market. Ku-band offers high data transmission capabilities in a compact form, making it suitable for broadband internet, remote sensing, and Earth observation services. The low Earth orbit (LEO) segment is expected to dominate the market in terms of orbit, with the highest growth rate in the geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) segment.
North America is expected to account for the largest share of the small satellite market in 2023. This is attributed to increasing NASA research and development initiatives and rising military spending on surveillance missions. Key players in the market include Sierra Nevada Corporation, L3Harris Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Airbus Defence and Space.
Overall, the small satellite market is poised for significant growth in the coming years, driven by advancements in technology, reduced launch costs, and increasing demand for data collection and communication services.