Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Emerging Trends, Future Growth, Application Potential by 2026

The global nanosatellite and microsatellite market is one of the most competitive industries with the leading players actively competing against each other to gain a greater share in the industry. The competitive landscape of the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market exhibits an inclination toward emerging strategies and developments by market players.

The key players that are actively participating in the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market include Axelspace Corporation, Astrocast, BlackSky Global, Capella Space, GomSpace, ICEYE, Kepler Communication, Lockheed  Martin, Nano Avionics,  OneWeb, Planet Labs, Planet IQ, Satellogic, Spire Global, and Tyak Nano Satellite.

The prominent players in the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market adopted strategies of product launches, mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, collaborations, contracts, and other strategies to expand their businesses. The companies are also involved in some of the other developments that include demonstration, integration, and business expansion. Due to the intensive competition, the satellite industry requires manufacturers to constantly innovate and develop cost-effective products. The existing companies as well as new entrants aim to develop next-generation nanosatellites and microsatellites in adherence with the existing and forthcoming industry standards for various end user applications. The market is likely to grow rapidly with huge potential of nanosatellites and microsatellites in terms of providing cost-effective and faster launch solutions.

Government and space organizations globally are continuously increasing their funding in the space industry to develop efficient and cost-effective satellite solutions. In the coming years, funding and space agencies’ budgets are anticipated to be driven by varied applications of nanosatellite and microsatellite constellations, such as communication, global Wi-Fi providing, surveillance, and navigation. The space industry is also expected to be driven by the demand for better connectivity for smart devices, Internet of Things (IoT), increased use of data analytics, and migration to streaming broadband.

More than 6,500 satellites, including nano-, micro-, and pico-satellites, are expected to be launched during the forecast period 2020-2026. With these significant milestones being achieved by players in the space industry, the focus of satellite manufacturers has transitioned dramatically from heavy and large-sized satellite launchers to small satellites at affordable costs. The growth in the nanosatellite and microsatellite market is largely driven by advancements in satellite miniaturization, an increase in the capability  of electronic technologies,  and an increase in demand for communication. Advancements in satellite and component miniaturization have resulted in low manufacturing costs and increased affordability of nanosatellites and microsatellites for research and academic purposes. Over the coming years, component miniaturization is expected to lead to the integration of advanced subsystems into nanosatellites and microsatellites.

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Apart from growth factors, the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market is also witnessing several challenges, such as complications related to developing  safe, low-cost, and small payload nanosatellites and microsatellites to launch beyond low-earth orbit and removing the space debris. As of 2019, more than 500,000 debris pieces estimated to be present in space can cause potential damage to satellites and space vehicles. Although NASA has taken several initiatives in collaboration with other space agencies to deorbit the debris, it is expected to remain a significant challenge to the market growth during the forecast period.

Over the past years, the number of nano and micro satellite launches has increased tremendously, owing to the low cost associated with their development and launch. The nanosatellite and microsatellite industry is rapidly adopting small and lightweight swarms of satellites with equal power and higher agility as compared to the ones currently being used. The next big trend in the market is autonomous satellites, which are capable of undertaking fault corrections independently and can avoid mishaps in the orbit. For the same, several initiatives have been undertaken to drive autonomy in nanosatellites and microsatellites.

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