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Satellite Payload Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Payload Type (Communication, Imaging, Navigation, and Others), By Vehicle Type (Small and Medium-to-heavy), By Orbit (GEO, LEO, and MEO), By Application (Weather Monitoring, Telecommunication, Scientific Research, Surveillance, and Others), By End-Use (Commercial and Military), and Regional Forecasts, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101829



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The global satellite payload market size was USD 13.32 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 14.45 billion in 2021 to USD 27.58 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 9.67% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with satellite payloads witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market will exhibit a lower growth of -7.8% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.


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A satellite payload is an assembly of functional components that are required for satellite operation. The payloads are used for operations related to communication, remote sensing, and navigation. Advancements in navigational, telecommunications, and remote sensing technologies are propelling the growth of the market. Moreover, the rising demand for broadcasting services is expected to fuel the satellite payload market growth during the forecast period.

Space Sector Faced Challenges amid COVID-19 Pandemic Owing to Delays in Satellite Launch Programs

The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively affected the global space industry. Several companies in the market faced exceptional challenges due to delayed satellite programs and stagnancy in production. The pandemic had no major impact in the first quarter of the financial year 2020 on space business due to long production cycles and low volumes of units. However, launch activities from several international space agencies and launch providers were delayed owing to the lockdown in various countries to control the spread of the virus.

  • The Guiana Space Centre halted Soyuz launch, which was scheduled in March 2020

  • The U.S. Space Force had to delay the launch of Falcon 9 GPS satellite due to COVID-19.

  • Samara Space Center halted the production operation due to the pandemic, which would delay the launch programs.

  • The launch of Vega Rocket's mission carrying multiple satellites in Europe has also been suspended due to the pandemic.

Thus, disruptions in supply chains and production lines majorly impacted the space industry.

The U.K. Space Agency & Department of International Trade and U.K. Space carried out a survey of the COVID-19 impact on all organizations in the U.K. space sector. The statistics of COVID-19 impact on the U.K space organizations are given below.

  • 63% of organizations reported some negative impact

  • 20% of organizations reported significant economic damage

  • 18% of organizations reported no impact


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Flexible Payloads are Gaining Prominence in Market

At present, satellites that are sent into orbit have a fixed function such as image broadcasting to television or fixed screens. Such satellites can be a drawback due to the rising number of consumers that spend more time on their laptops or mobile phones, which use Wi-Fi or cellular connections. Therefore, the adoption of flexible or reprogrammable payloads is increasing in the space industry. These flexible payloads are capable of coping with changing demands of consumers and allow a satellite’s mission to be reprogrammed when the satellite is already in orbit type. A satellite with a flexible payload can reconfigure its coverage, frequencies, and power allocation, allowing its operator to access new business or answer growing market needs.


Rising Adoption of Hosted Payloads to Propel Market Growth

A hosted payload is a module that utilizes available capacity on commercial satellites to place additional space-bound instruments that operate individually of the main spacecraft but share the power supply and transponders. Government agencies deploy sensors and other equipment into space by using hosted payloads on commercial spacecraft that are already scheduled for launch to save costs. As building and launching a satellite is a very costly process, demand for hosted payloads has risen.  These payloads provide significant cost-saving and schedule efficiencies, which is driving their demand and the growth of the market.

Growing Demand for Small Satellites for Communication Purposes to Fuel Market

In recent years, the growth of the space sector has been partially powered by rising capabilities and reducing the costs of small satellites. Owing to increased capabilities of smallsats such as data processing, signal processing, the omnipresence of GPS that allow determining altitude and location, and deployment of low-cost commercial off-the-shelf parts, their demand is anticipated to surge during the forecast period. Demand for small satellites in emerging economies in Asia Pacific is also expected to grow, owing to the high demand for low-cost, high-speed broadband, which is encouraging investments. Thus, the increased demand for small satellite is expected to increase the demand for satellite payload.


High Development Cost and Lack of Intellectual Assets is Predicted to Hinder Market Growth

High design and manufacturing costs and longer development time are expected to hinder the growth of this market. The design and development of space components are very complex processes as the components are exposed to outer space. Satellite development requires a thorough understanding of numerical modeling and practical analysis. Even a minor error in the loop will lead to the failure of the mission. Therefore, it is very important to recognize and eliminate the errors as quickly as possible. Lack of intellectual personnel in this field will lead to a high risk of failure of missions.

Furthermore, lack of investment in intellectual assets is expected to restrain the growth of the market. The intellectual asset is likely to accomplish great benefits when combined with other assets. However, companies often spend more on tangible assets rather than intellectual assets, which is expected to hamper the market growth as the future demands a combination of both.


By Payload Type Analysis

Communication Segment to Dominate Global Market

Based on payload, the market is divided into communication, imaging, navigation, and others.

The communication segment is anticipated to dominate the market share during the forecast period owing to new technology trends such as channelization, internet routers in space, space-based inflatable reflector antenna, and the development of power amplifiers. The navigation segment is expected to be the largest segment, followed by the communication segment, owing to a rise in trends such as connected aircraft and connected cars. Furthermore, imaging payload is expected to be the fastest-growing segment as it is broadly used in remote sensing in the fields of agriculture, surveying and terrain mapping, crop monitoring, waterway monitoring, and disaster monitoring & mitigation. Digital sensors in imaging payload examine large areas of the surface of the earth and beam this information to satellite ground stations.

By Vehicle Type Analysis

Small Satellite Anticipated to be the Fastest Growing Segment

Based on vehicle type, the market is segmented into small and medium-to-heavy.

The small satellite segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period due to rising demand for small satellites in industries such as aviation, television & entertainment, military, and space research & development.

By Orbit Analysis

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GEO Segment Anticipated to Exhibit Highest Growth Rate

Based on orbit, the market is classified into Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO), Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and Medium Earth orbit (MEO).  

The GEO segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment through the forecast period, owing to the rising demand for direct-to-home (D2h) broadcasting, internet, and regional mobile telecommunications services.

Low earth orbit payloads have majorly promoted the growth of the market and are expected to grow significantly, followed by the GEO satellite segment. Payloads in LEO orbit offer end-users with assured access to orbit, well-organized in-orbit data, and mission endurance capabilities.

By Application Analysis

Based on application, the market is divided into weather monitoring, telecommunication, scientific research, surveillance, and others.

The telecommunication segment will lead the market throughout the projected period, owing to the rising communication-related missions and research and development (R&D) activities, which are anticipated to offer high-quality communication systems with the support of on-board mini, micro, and Nano subsystems. Moreover, the increasing demand for weather monitoring and surveillance for disaster management is fueling the growth of this market.

By End-User Analysis

Commercial Segment to Be the Fastest Growing Segment in the Market

Based on end-user, the market is segmented into commercial and military.

The commercial segment was estimated to dominate the satellite payload market in 2020 and is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment in the market during the forecast period. Rising demand for commercial payloads can be accredited to the surging requirement for high-definition video streaming and broadband internet services. The necessity of high-definition video streaming has augmented the demand for greater satellite capacity, encouraging manufacturers to enlarge their in-orbit fleets. The modification in federal policy has attracted investments from the private sector. The rising satellite launches by the private sector are projected to impact market growth in upcoming years. With the growing demand for earth observation and telecommunication satellites, the commercial sector is anticipated to progress through the forecast period.

Rising government regulations have promoted the adoption of hosted payloads for cost-effective and scheduled launches. The U.S. military embraces both LEO and GEO satellites that offer elaborate radar images of small and tactical locations to collect the signals and communicate them to the armed forces.


North America Satellite Payload Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The findings based on our research methodology show North America accounted for the largest share in the market. The North America satellite payloads market size was valued at USD 6.05 billion in the financial year 2020, owing to increased government spending on space technologies. The manufacturers in the region are focusing on the adoption of satellite connectivity technologies to improve operations. Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Honeywell International Inc. are some of the key players in the region. They are anticipated to drive the growth of the market across the region.

Asia Pacific is predicted to witness significant growth in the market as the rising investments in earth observation and telecommunication satellites in China and India are expected to contribute to the product demand.

  • For instance, in January 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched a GSAT-30 communication satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) from French Guiana.

Europe is anticipated to witness substantial growth in the market during the forecast period, owing to growth of the regional space industry and increased commercialization of space.


Major Companies to Focus on R&D Capabilities to Reduce Payload Weight and Costs

Key market players are engaged in mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships to gain an advantage over competitors. Manufacturers are focusing on research and development capabilities to reduce the overall weight of the payloads. ISRO, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and L3Harris Technologies Inc. have adopted organic strategies to expand their operations.



  • June 2021 – Thales Alenia Space was awarded a contract worth approximately USD 195 million by Italian Ministry of Defense, represented by TELEDIFE / Secretariat General of Defense, for the development of the SICRAL 3 secure satellite communications system.

  • May 2021 Northrop Grumman Corporation was granted a continued contract worth USD 13.3 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue to develop a PNT payload for the Blackjack constellation.

  • February 2021 – L3Harris Technologies Inc. received a contract worth USD 137 million from Lockheed Martin Corporation for four navigation payload Mission Data Units (MDU) for future GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites.


An Infographic Representation of Satellite Payload Market

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The global satellite payload market report provides analysis and focuses on key aspects such as leading OEMs, product types, and leading applications of the satellite payload. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Payload Type

  • Communication

  • Imaging

  • Navigation

  • Others

By Vehicle Type

  • Small

  • Medium-to-heavy

By Orbit

  • GEO

  • LEO

  • MEO

By Application

  • Weather Monitoring

  • Telecommunication

  • Scientific Research

  • Surveillance

  • Others

By End-Use

  • Commercial

  • Military

By Geography

  • North America

    • U.S. (By Payload Type)

    • Canada (By Payload Type)

  • Europe

    • U.K. (By Payload Type)

    • Germany (By Payload Type)

    • France (By Payload Type)

    • Italy (By Payload Type)

    • Rest of Europe(By Payload Type)

  • Asia Pacific

    • Japan (By Payload Type)

    • China (By Payload Type)

    • India (By Payload Type)

    • Australia (By Payload Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Payload Type)

  • Rest of the World

    • Latin America (By Payload Type)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Payload Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 14.45 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 27.58 billion by 2028.

The market projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.67% during the forecast period.

The communication and navigation segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Technologies, and the Boeing Company are the leading players in the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2020.

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