Key Market Players
The Small satellite is dominated by a few globally established players such as Thales Group (France), L3Harris Technologies (US), Honeywell International Inc. (US), Lockheed Martin (US), Northrop Grumman (US), Airbus (Germany) among others, which are the key manufacturers that secured small satellite system contracts in the last few years. Major focus was given to the contracts and new product development due to the changing requirements of commercial, government and military & space users across the world.
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Based on platform, the commercial segment is estimated to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026
It is projected to grow further due to the increasing need for communications, earth observation, imaging, and agricultural monitoring. Companies such as Pumpkin Space (US) use small satellites for scientific experiments such as testing new technologies like batteries with sleep mode capability (BM-2). BUSEK Space Propulsion and Systems (US) is another company focused on developing new propulsion systems such as the pulsed plasma thruster, green monopropellant thrusters, and electrothermal thrusters. In 2019, OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus SE, launched around 34 satellites for the OneWeb constellation from on Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Based on satellite mass, the small satellite segment is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026
A small satellite is a type of low mass and compact satellite primarily employed for remote sensing, Earth observation, and communication purposes. These satellites usually weigh less than 500 kg. Small satellites are used for in-orbit inspection purposes of larger satellites. These are also used as test carriers for newly developed components that are to be installed on a much critical satellite. However, small satellites are prone to operational challenges that include lack of power storage and propulsion system, owing to their small dimensions. In January 2022, satellite communications provider, Starlink launched a part of constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
Based on application, the communication segment is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026
Small satellites are increasingly being adopted in modern communication technologies. The introduction of 5G and the development of miniature hardware systems are exploiting numerous opportunities in the field of satellite-enabled communication. A rise in R&D activities for communication-related missions is expected to offer enhanced quality communication systems with the help of highly sophisticated miniaturized on-board nano, micro, and mini subsystems, coupled with advanced mission-compatible ground-station technology.
Based on frequency, the ku-band segment is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026
Based on frequency, the small satellite market is segmented into Ku-band, Ka-band, X-band, C-band, L-band, S-band, HF/VHF/UHF-band, and Q/V-band. The Ku-band radar frequency operates within a range between 10.7 GHz and 12.75 GHz. The Ku-band frequency spectrum is used for satellite communication. This band is primarily used for mapping .Ku-band antennas are economical and flexible means of obtaining a high-throughput as compared to C-band. Thus, Ku-band antennas are suitable for use over a wider range of data communication. In 2020, Orbsat Corp (US), a global provider of communication solutions for global connectivity via next-generation satellite technology, announced that its Global Telesat Communications (GTC) subsidiary expanded its initial global sales and distribution partnership with Kymeta (US) to include its entire line of unique Ku-band flat-panel satellite communication terminals, including the recently launched Kymeta u8 (2020)
Based on region, North America is expected to lead the small satellite market from 2021 to 2026
The US is a lucrative market for small satellite systems in the North American region. The US government is increasingly investing in advanced small satellite technologies to enhance the quality and effectiveness of satellite communication. The increasing investment on small satellite equipment to enhance defense and surveillance capabilities of the armed forces, modernization of existing communication in military platforms, critical infrastructure and law enforcement agencies using small satellite systems, are key factors expected to drive the small satellite market in North America. In 2021, Swarm Technologies launched 28, 0.25U CubeSat SpaceBEE. The CubeSat is the worlds smallest two-way communications satellites for IoT.
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