The latest study from Paris-based market researchers Euroconsult says that over the next 10 years, the so-called ‘smallsat’ market will grow in value (for the build and launch) to be worth almost $49 billion (€54.72bn) by 2029, quadrupling in size, and represent some 8,600 craft.
Broadband satellite-based communications should witness the strongest growth with close to 4,200 satellites expected from 2019 to 2028.
Euroconsult says: “While the growth is led by large constellations such as OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the findings show that the smallsat industry is diverse, with demand from a variety of operators, start-ups, universities, and countries.”
Commenting on the findings, Alexandre Najjar, Euroconsult Consultant and Editor of the report said: “The smallsat market continues to grow in significance for investors, manufacturers, the supply chain, and a range of other stakeholders.”
The report found that in 2017 and 2018 alone there was 93 percent increase in the number of smallsats launched compared to 2014-2016.
8,600 smallsats will be launched in the next decade, at an average of 835 each year by 2023, growing to an average of 880 per year by 2028.
Constellations account for 83 per cent of the satellites to be launched by 2028, says Euroconsult.
The number of smallsats to launch in the next ten years increased by 22 per cent over the forecast in the previous edition of this report.
Satellites in the 250-500-kilogram mass range represented 6 percent of the total number of satellites launched between 2009-2018 but will grow to 18 per cent of the satellites launched in the next ten years.
Smallsats under ten kilograms, such as 3U CubeSats, will account for 28 per cent of the smallsats launched in the next ten years, says the study, but only 2 per cent of the value.