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Optical Satellite Communication Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Laser Type (YAG Laser, Silex Laser, CO2 Laser, Others), By Application (Telecommunication, Tracking & Monitoring, Surveillance & Security, Space Exploration, Earth Observation, and Others), By Component (Transmitter, Receiver, Antenna, Modular, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2023-2030

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100860



The global optical satellite communication market size was valued at USD 1.51 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 1.77 billion in 2023 to USD 5.12 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.4% during the forecast period. Optical satellite communication refers to the data transmission from space to the ground via lasers. Communication through lasers provides a higher data transmission rate and secure systems. Over the years, leading space agencies have developed such systems and successfully demonstrated the inter-satellite and satellite-to-ground communication links.


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Utilization of optical communication in data relay satellites is also a prominent application for this market. Countries such as the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia have demonstrated inter satellite communication for the transmission of earth observation, remote sensing, and other data. Laser communication is also utilized for real-time tracking of satellites or orbiting objects. For example, the Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch data relay satellites to track Gaganyaan missions. Such developments catalyze the growth of the market during the forecast period.


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Development of a Portable Ground Station for Optical Communication 

Portable ground stations are a recent trend in optical satellite communication. They are designed to be small, lightweight, and easy to transport, making them ideal for field operations and disaster response.

Portable ground stations can be quickly developed and set up in remote locations, providing a reliable communication link with the satellites. In September 2022, Astrolight, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), utilized the portable OGS-1 optical ground station located near ESA's Izaña-1 Ground Station (IZN-1) at Teide Observatory in Spain. It established a laser communication link with a satellite in low earth orbit at an altitude of about 600 km.


Technological Advancements and Benefits over Conventional Systems Boost Market Growth

Optical communication is a technology that uses laser beams to transmit data between satellites and ground stations. This technology is becoming increasingly popular due to its high bandwidth capabilities and immunity to interference.

Various major players are focused on developing projects related to optical inter-satellite communications owing to various advantages. In June 2021, the Department of Defense (DoD) U.S. and the space agency began laser communications experiments on the SpaceX rideshare CubeSat pair built by General Atomics for the space agency to demonstrate satellite-to-satellite and satellite-to-military drone aircraft optical communications. These satellites were onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 ride-along mission called Transporter 2.

In June 2022, SpaceX announced plans to turn on laser communications between satellites to significantly reduce latency. SpaceX launched nearly 2,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service and is ready to take it to the next level. Additionally, in August 2022, DARPA's Mandrake 2 experimental satellite, which successfully tested an interspace laser link for inter-satellite communications, is planning its next attempt to transmit data from space to the ground using light beams.

Development of Ground Infrastructure to Support Optical Satellite Communication is Anticipated to Drive Market Growth

Ground stations are a crucial component of the optical communication system. As optical communication technology continues to advance, the development of ground stations has become increasingly important to ensure that the system operates efficiently and effectively. Various agencies globally are implementing ground stations at different locations having less atmospheric interference. In September 2021, Australia installed the first space laser optical ground station in the southern hemisphere.

Additionally, in October 2022, a new optical ground station was inaugurated at the DLR's site in Oberpfaffenhofen. This ground station allows data rates in the terabit range, using quantum communication technologies and high-precision satellite navigation systems. By October 2021, NASA established two optical ground stations in California and Hawaii to support NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) experiment. In January 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) installed optical ground station in Greece to collect data for PIXL-1 mission. This station was built as a part of ESA’s European Optical Nucleus Network (EONN) initiative. Such developments pave the way for optical communication satellites across the globe and catalyze the optical satellite communication market growth.


Issue of Cloud Coverage in Optical Communication to Hamper Market Growth

Cloud coverage is a significant challenge for optical communication systems. The cloud coverage can hamper the communication system as clouds can scatter and absorb the laser beam, causing signal attenuation. This attenuation can result in a decrease in signal strength, which can reduce the data rate and increase the error rate of the communication link.

Moreover, clouds can also cause signal degradation by scattering the laser beam in different directions. Cloud coverage can impact the availability of optical communication. The amount of cloud coverage can vary depending on the location and time of the day, which can further impact the communication link. Due to cloud attenuation in satellite to ground communication, mostly inter-satellite links are the preference for optical satellite communication. Even though there are several techniques to calculate cloud attenuation, such as measurement of attenuation through cloud water content, more developments are still required for all weather communication systems.


By Laser Type Analysis

CO2 Laser Segment is Anticipated to Command the Market Owing to Increased Use in Satellite Communication

By laser type, the market is segmented into YAG laser, Silex laser, CO2 laser, and others. The CO2 laser segment dominated the market during the base year. The growth of the segment is due to its increase in adaptability of CO2 laser in satellite communication as it provides an efficient platform for data transmission.

The YAG laser segment is projected to be the fastest growing during the study period. The growth in the segment is owing to low power consumption, reduced noise, and larger bandwidth in optical communication systems.

By Application Analysis

Telecommunication Segment Dominates the Market Owing to Increased Usage of Satellites in Streaming Platforms 

The market by application is segmented into telecommunication, tracking & monitoring, surveillance & security, space exploration, earth observation, and others. The telecommunication segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. The dominance of the segment is owing to increased demand for broadcasting services.

The space exploration segment will witness the highest growth rate during the study period. The growth in the region is due to increase in satellite launches during the forecast period. In August 2022, Ariane 5 launched Europe’s tallest communication satellite. The 8.9-meter, three-story communications satellite is aimed to provide the operator “Eutelsat” with high-speed broadband and onboard connectivity across Europe; it weighs 6.525 tons, accounting for 99% of the launch mass of 6.62 tons.

By Component Analysis

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Transmitter Segment Dominates the Market Owing to the Significance of Optical Satellite Communication System 

The market by component is segmented into transmitter, receiver, antenna, modular, and others. The transmitter segment is projected to dominate the market along with the highest growth rate during the study period. The rise in the growth of the segment is due to the importance of components in electronics devices such as broadcasting stations, communication satellites, and others.


COVID-19 Harmed the Market Owning to Delay in Satellite Launches by Various Space Agencies

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the space domain incurred a significant loss due to a decrease in the overall budget of public space agencies across the globe and delays in several satellite programs and communication-related projects. For example, during FY 20-21, the Indian Space Research Organization witnessed a decline of nearly 26% in actual budget allocation compared to the previous year.

In 2020, governments in various regions announced the complete closure and temporary closure of industry, affecting the entire production process and disrupting the global optical communication market.

Moreover, lockdowns in major countries, such as the U.S., France, Germany, China, India, and Japan, had a huge impact on the space industry, which resulted in suspended or postponed satellite launches.

In 2020, COVID-19 reduced the overall market by 66.56%. However, in 2021, the market showed signs of recovery, already exceeding the revenue generation and demand in the fiscal year. The industry was back on track with the revival of production/maintenance facilities, and in 2021 there was strong demand.


North America Optical Satellite Communication Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)

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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World.

North America held the largest optical satellite communication market share in 2022. The market in North America was valued at USD 0.71 billion in 2022. At present, the adoption of optical communication satellite in North America is preliminarily driven by the growing demand for space exploration. Furthermore, in June 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense launched CubeSats and conducted an experiment on laser communication using C-band optical terminal. Such developments catalyze the growth of the region.

Europe is estimated to hold the second-largest market share owing to specialized applications with unique properties in free-space optical communication systems for military or scientific purposes where long-range and high power lasers are required.

The market in Asia Pacific is projected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Owing to various technical advancements in the region, the market is anticipated to grow during the forecast period. For instance, in March 2023, Axelspace Corporation announced that the company was selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for a development and demonstration project for an optical inter-satellite communication network system. This is part of a cross-community collaboration program of research & development of key and advanced technologies.

Rest of the World is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the market during the forecast period, owing to increase in investments related to enhanced space capabilities and increased focus of research & space exploration activities in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others.


Key Players Focusing on Developing Global Satellite Communication Technologies Owing to Increase in Number of Launches

The competitive environment of the ever-evolving market is somewhat consolidated in nature due to the presence of major optical satellite communication players such as Ball Corporation (U.S.), BridgeComm, Inc. (U.S.), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Laser Light Communications (U.S.), and Mynaric (Germany). These players are focusing on developing payload for cubesats and smallsats with regard to laser communication system. In May 2022, Laser Light Communications announced that it selected Nokia as its exclusive lead supplier for the first phase of the beta deployment of its global optical software-defined network. This first beta phase will focus on 16 locations in Australia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S.



  • March 2023 The European Space Agency (ESA) extended a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) to provide additional communications services from Lunar Pathfinder, scheduled for launch in 2025. The agreement extends ESA and SSTL's existing commercial lunar service agreement signed in September 2021 and creates new opportunities for low-cost lunar exploration, technology demonstration, and reconnaissance missions.

  • July 2022 Ball Aerospace, a Ball Corporation company, celebrated with NASA and all mission partners as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope shared its first images with the world. The Colorado-based company designed and built the advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system that make these unprecedented images possible.

  • March 2022 - BridgeComm, a leader in Optical Wireless Communications (OWC) solutions and services, announced they are collaborating with Space Micro, Inc., powered by Voyager Space, for a 24-month development contract for advanced one-to-many optical communications from the Space Development Agency (SDA).

  • February 2022 - Thales Alenia Space initiated two projects related to HydRON, funded by ESA. These contracts will allow Thales to develop and demonstrate the potential of laser-based satellite communication.

  • July 2022 Mynaric signed agreements regarding L3Harris' investment in Mynaric and future collaboration. With the strategic investment, the companies want to build on existing cooperation in aviation and expand its scope to all areas, including space, air, sea, and land. According to the agreements, L3Harris will invest approximately USD 11.95 million.


An Infographic Representation of Optical Satellite Communication Market

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The market research report provides a detailed market analysis. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities, supply chain management, competitive landscape, and optimization of the manufacturing capabilities & operating services. The research covers analysis of the global optical satellite communication market growth analysis. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market trends analysis, market share analysis, market analysis, market segments analysis, and market competitive landscape, and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the market growth in recent years.




Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of  16.4% from 2023 to 2030


Value (USD Billion)


By Laser Type, Application, Component, and Geography

By Laser Type

  • YAG Laser

  • Silex Laser

  • CO2 Laser

  • Others

By Application

  • Telecommunication

  • Tracking & Monitoring

  • Surveillance & Security

  • Space Exploration

  • Earth Observation

  • Others

By Component  

  • Transmitter

  • Receiver

  • Antenna

  • Modular

  • Others

  • North America (By Laser Type; Application, Component, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Component)

    • Canada (By Component)

  • Europe (By Laser Type, Application, Component, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Component)

    • Germany (By Component)

    • France (By Component)

    • Italy (By Component)

    • Russia (By Component)

    • Rest of Europe (By Component)

  • Asia Pacific (By Laser Type, Application, Component, and Country )

    • China (By Component)

    • India (By Component)

    • Japan (By Component)

    • South Korea (By Component)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Component)

  • Rest of the World (By Laser Type, Application, Component, and Country)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Component)

    • Latin America (By Component)

Frequently Asked Questions

As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 1.51 billion in 2022.

The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16.4% over the forecast period (2023-2030).

CO2 laser segment is expected to lead the market due to increasing adoption globally.

The market size in North America stood at USD 0.71 billion in 2022.

Technological advancements benefits over conventional is the key factor driving the market.

Some of the top players in the market are Ball Corporation (U.S.), BridgeComm, Inc. (U.S.), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Laser Light Communications (U.S.), Atlas Space Operations Inc. (U.S.), and others.

The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.

The issue of cloud coverage in optical satellite communication is anticipated to restrain the market.

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