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Small Satellite Market - By Type (Nano, Micro, Mini), By Mass (Small Satellite, CubeSat), By Application (Navigation, Communication, Scientific Research), By Component (Satellite Bus, Payload, Solar Panel, Satellite Antenna) By End Use & Forecast 2023 – 2032

  • Report ID: GMI5727
  • Published Date: May 2023
  • Report Format: PDF

Small Satellite Market Size

Small Satellite Market size reached USD 3 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 15% between 2023 and 2032. The market growth is attributed to the rising demand for compact satellites.

Small Satellite Market

A small satellite can be built depending on the requirements and launched at a lower cost than traditional satellites. The advantages of small satellites include small weight & dimensions and the short time required for their development. A large satellite takes 10 to 15 years to develop but a small satellite can detect demand and place the satellite in the decided orbit in less than eight months. Nanosatellites and microsatellites are small satellites that are more cost-effective than conventional satellites and are often designed for communications, commerce, and space exploration. The demand for these satellites has grown significantly in recent years due to their shorter development cycles, lightness, high performance in complex computing operations, and lower launch & development costs.

Small satellites are built at a fraction of the cost & time required for larger satellites, reducing reliance on complex mechanisms & deployable structures, and enabling mission sharing. However, small satellites also have limitations in terms of thrust, payload, and other subsystems that they can carry due to their compactness. The ability of small satellites to carry out various missions is also limited by payload capacity. The increased momentum required for maneuver missions needs additional propellants, further restricting the capacity of satellites to carry scientific instruments and payloads. The lack of space on small satellites also restrains their ability to carry the key components needed to conduct complex missions.

COVID-19 Impact

The pandemic had significant impacts on the small satellite market, but the market has been resilient due to the high demand from numerous applications such as communication, navigation, and earth observation. One of the major challenges faced by the small satellite industry is the disruption of the global supply chain. The lockdown and travel restrictions led to delays in the delivery of equipment & components required for satellite development and launch.

The closure of some satellite manufacturing facilities and launch sites also resulted in the cancelation and delays of small satellite missions. The increasing investments in the development of small satellites and the growing number of startups entering the market also contributed to its growth during the pandemic.

Small Satellite Business Trends

The small satellite market has been experiencing a steady growth over recent years, attributed to several trends that are expected to foster market expansion. The small satellite business is growing due to the increasing demand for earth observation, advancements in communication technologies, growth of on-demand satellite launch services, increasing government investments, and the emergence of new business models. On-demand launch services are becoming increasingly popular due to their benefits such as cost savings and flexibility for small satellite operators. Several companies operating in the market are developing dedicated small satellite launchers and reusable launch vehicles, which are forecast to reduce the cost of launching small satellites.

Small Satellite Market Analysis

Global Small Satellite Market Revenue, By Application,

Based on application, the earth observation application of small satellite market is projected to observe a growth rate of nearly 16% from 2032 in 2032. Small satellites including CubeSats and minisatellites are majorly being used for earth observation. They are equipped with hyperspectral sensors, high-resolution cameras, and remote sensing instruments that can offer valuable data for a range of earth observation applications. Small satellites have vast applications in earth observation such as agriculture, natural resource management, disaster management, climate monitoring, and urban planning. They have the ability to provide high-resolution imagery for mapping urban areas including transportation networks, infrastructure, and land use. This information can help policymakers and urban planners to make informed decisions about urban management & development. Small satellites also provide data regarding climate change including precipitation, temperature, and sea level rise.

Global Small Satellite Market Share, by Type,

Based on type, the minisatellite segment is dominating approximately 45% of the small satellite market share in 2022. Minisatellites are small satellites that give expanded access to space and in the field of scientific research. They are also referred to as small spacecraft that weigh between 100 and 500 kg. They have numerous advantages over other small and large satellites including reduced cost of new space missions and scientific & human exploration. Minisatellites are primarily being used for earth observation as they are equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors that provide valuable data to be used in natural resource management, agriculture, and urban planning. They are also used for studying the earth’s atmosphere, climate, and oceans. They can provide broadband internet and communication services to underserved areas and remote areas. The wide application and greater operational efficiency of minisatellites are expected to fuel segment growth.

Based on mass, the CubeSat segment of small satellite market was valued at over USD 1.5 billion in 2022. It has been experiencing strong growth over the past few years and is anticipated to witness continued growth. CubeSat is a small satellite with a standardized form factor of 10x10x10 cm and a mass of up to 1.33 kg. This makes it easier to manufacture & launch than traditional satellites. The CubeSat segment is growing due to the increasing interest of governments and private companies in using small satellites for space missions and scientific research including studying the space weather, planetary exploration, and earth’s atmosphere. CubeSats are risk-tolerant & low-cost platforms used for conducting experiments and testing new technologies in space. The wide range of suitable features for various applications will boost segment growth.

U.S. Small Satellite Market Size,

North America region is dominating the small satellite market with 35% share in 2022. North America is one of the largest markets for small satellites. The region houses some leading small satellite manufacturers, ground station operators, and launch service providers with a highly developed space industry ecosystem. The U.S. government also plays a major role in the business development, with agencies, such as NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense, funding many small satellite missions and programs. These missions are oriented toward advancing scientific research in the country and improving national security.

The implementation of several initiatives and policies by the U.S. Government for supporting the small satellite industry is another factor propelling market growth. These initiatives include the establishment of the commercial remote sensing regulatory office, which monitors commercial remote sensing activities. Also, the small sat rideshare program offers opportunities for mall satellite companies to launch their payload on commercial and government rockets.

Small Satellite Market Share

Major companies operating in the small satellite market include:

  • Airbus
  • Blue Canyon Technologies
  • Gomspace
  • L3Harris Technologies Inc
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Planet Labs Inc.
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Thales Group

These players are actively taking strategic steps to meet growing demand in the market.

Small Satellite Industry News:

  • In April 2023, the joint venture between Leonardo and Thales Alenia Space received a contract from the Italian space agency for the development of the space factory 4.0 program. Thales Alenia Space is also leading a consortium including Argotec, Sitael, and CIRA for developing an interconnected system with various facilities located across Italy, which is set to start operating by 2026.
  • In August 2022, Blue Canyon Technologies opened a small satellite manufacturing facility in Colorado. The new facility increased the company’s production capacity to 85 space vehicles per year and cemented the company’s position as a market leader.

This small satellite market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD Million from 2018 to 2032, for the following segments:

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By Type

  • Nanosatellite
  • Microsatellite
  • Minisatellite

By Mass

  • Small satellite
  • CubeSat

By Application

  • Navigation
  • Communication
  • Earth observation
  • Scientific research
  • Others

By Component

  • Satellite bus
  • Payload
  • Solar panel
  • Satellite antenna
  • Others

By End Use

  • Commercial
  • Government & defense
  • Civil

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Russia
    • Spain
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • ANZ
    • Singapore
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
  • MEA
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • UAE
    • Israel


Authors: Suraj Gujar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of small satellite was valued at over USD 3 billion in 2022 and will record more than 15% CAGR from 2023 to 2032 driven by the rising need for high performance in complex computing operations, and lower launch & development costs.

The earth observation applications will witness over 16% CAGR from 2032-2032 owing to increasing deployment of hyperspectral sensors, high-resolution cameras, and remote sensing instruments.

North America held over 35% of the small satellite industry share in 2022 owing to the strong presence of leading small satellite manufacturers and ground station operators.

Airbus, Blue Canyon Technologies, Gomspace, L3Harris Technologies Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Planet Labs Inc., Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Thales Group are some of the well-known industry players.

Small Satellite Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2022
  • Companies covered: 15
  • Tables & Figures: 405
  • Countries covered: 21
  • Pages: 250
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