There is an estimated launch demand for 11,746 small satellites for new constellation installations and replacement missions by 2030, according to a Q3 2018 forecast from Frost & Sullivan. The Small-satellite Launch Services Market, Quarterly Update from the analyst states that such demand would take the small-satellite launch services market past the $69 billion mark and present significant growth opportunities throughout the industry. In order to keep up with market demand, Frost & Sullivan anticipates innovative solutions will be deployed across the value chain including launch, manufacturing, and supply chain. In such an evolving market it will be critical for market participants to develop long-term sustainable partnerships to maintain and establish robust business operations.
“The small-satellite launch service market is gaining pace with 89 small satellites launched in Q3 of 2018. We also saw seven new players joining the small-satellite launch services race,” commented Kamalanathan Kaspar, Senior Industry Analyst, Space.
The report also includes some other key figures on areas that are creating growth opportunities in the market.
The total projected launch capacity supply, including the success of multiple dedicated, planned launch services, is 11,746 small satellites. A total payload mass of 2,758 potential tonnes of small satellites is expected to be launched in the high scenario from 2018–2030. Small satellites in the mass segments of 0 to 15 Kg and 150 to 500 Kg will cumulatively account for 73.8% of the small-satellite launch demand, in the high scenario, from 2018–2030. In the high scenario, 97.7% of the total payload launch mass demand will be generated by commercial operators, with the major contributors being Space X, EarthNow, and Oneweb. 37 small-satellite commercial operators will generate more than 90% of the launch demand for their constellation installation and replacement missions.
“Quarter three 2018 witnessed the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) implementing new international technology specifications for cube satellites detailing the minimum requirements for the spacecraft throughout its lifecycle,” noted Kaspar.
“New entrants will need to ensure technology advancements comply with evolving standards,” he added.
The report looks closely at the demand for small-satellite launch based on operators’ maturity, mass classes, and user segments. It forecasts the number of small satellites, payload mass, and launch revenue based on defined scenarios.