Small satellites are being widely used by defense organizations for surveillance and monitoring purposes to track enemy and terrorist activities on a global scale. The small satellite market is divided into different types, including minisatellites, microsatellites, nanosatellites, and others. Among these, the minisatellite segment generated the highest revenue in 2020. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for high-speed internet connectivity worldwide and the deployment of satellites by telecommunication companies to expand their reach. Additionally, the growing demand for low-cost real-time monitoring services in defense, homeland security, and other industries has also contributed to the growth of the minisatellite segment.
The global small satellite market was valued at $3,251.9 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $13,711.7 million by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4%.
Factors driving the growth of the small satellite market include the rising demand for compact satellites, the increasing demand for low Earth orbit (LEO)-based services, and the surge in demand for high-resolution imaging services worldwide. However, the market growth is hindered by the lack of dedicated launch vehicles for small satellites and the limitations of small satellites in terms of payload accommodation. On the other hand, there are new opportunities for market players due to the rising demand for satellite services in the commercial sector and the increasing demand for satellite data.
In terms of revenue, North America leads the small satellite market, followed by Asia-Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA (Latin America, Middle East, and Africa). The adoption of launch services in the telecommunications, defense, and space exploration industries has driven the growth of the small satellite market in North America, with the United States dominating the market share in 2020 and expected to continue growing significantly in the forecast period. Small satellites are increasingly being used in North America to facilitate the deployment of telecommunication services.
The small satellite market is further categorized by application, including earth observation and remote sensing, satellite communication, science and exploration, mapping and navigation, space observation, and others. The earth observation and remote sensing segment dominated the market in 2020, driven by the adoption of small satellites by commercial and government space organizations for various applications such as urban planning, border mapping, infrastructure security, and homeland security. The adoption of small satellites by the telecommunications industry to leverage advanced space technology and provide high-speed connectivity worldwide has also contributed to the growth of the satellite communication segment.
Key players in the small satellite market include Airbus S.A.S., GomSpace, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Planet Labs Inc., Sierra Nevada Corporation, Thales Group, Aerospace Corporation, and The Boeing Company.