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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, Medium-to-heavy), By Orbit (GEO, LEO, and MEO), By Application (Weather Monitoring, Telecommunication, Scientific Research, Surveillance, Others), By End-Use (Commercial and Military) and Regional Forecasts, 2020-2027

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



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The global satellite payload market size was USD 14.44 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.34 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.49% during the forecast period.

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 communication navigation. Advancements in navigational, telecommunications and remote sensing technologies are propelling the growth of the market. Moreover, rising demand for broadcasting services is expected to fuel the satellite payload market growth during the forecast period.

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Delayed the Satellite Launches lead to Slow Market Growth

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the dynamics of the space industry. The impact of COVID 19 have directly affected specifically to space industry for development and launches of satellite payloads, human spacecraft, ground based systems and launching vehicles domain. The slowdown in the operation of the key players has significantly reflected in the first quarter of 2020, the key companies such as Rocket Labs have suspended the delivery until 2020. Similarly, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has postponed the satellite launches to 2021 and 2022.

This has affected the businesses of satellite payload OEMs across the world, as these companies are the satellite payload component and system providers to the space industry OEMs. The overall market for satellite and space industry business has declined to more than 70-80% and it is expected to be recovered by the end of 2021.


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Flexible Payloads Are Gaining Prominence in the 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. 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 satellite 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 this market.

Growing Demand for Small Satellites for Communication Purposes to Fuel the 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. This demand will, in turn, generate demand for small payloads.


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 the Global Market

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

The communication segment is anticipated to dominate the satellite payload 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 the 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 to Emerge as 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.

The low earth orbit satellite 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 the market.

By End-User Analysis

Commercial Segment to be the Fastest Growing Segment in the Market

Based on end-users, the market is segmented into commercial and military. The commercial segment was estimated to dominate the market in 2019 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 them 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 communication 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, 2019 (USD Billion)

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The findings based on our research methodology show North America accounted for the largest share in this market of USD 7.52 billion in the financial year 2019 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 this key 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 example, 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 a surge in the regional space industry and increased commercialization of space. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the world has led to delaying of satellite launches. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has delayed the launch of three U.S. intelligence payloads from New Zealand. The launch of Vega Rocket's mission carrying multiple satellites in Europe has also been suspended due to the pandemic.


Major Companies to Focus on R&D Capabilities to Reduce Weight and Costs of Satellite Payloads

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 payload weight of satellites. Companies such as ISRO, General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., and MDA Corporation have adopted different organic strategies to expand their operations.


  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (the U.S.)

  • Honeywell International Inc. (the U.S.)

  • The Boeing Company (the U.S.)

  • Thales S.A. (France)

  • Raytheon Technologies (the U.S.)

  • Airbus Defence and Space (Germany)

  • L3 Harris Corporation (the U.S.)

  • Lucix Corporation (the U.S.)

  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan)

  • ISRO (India)

  • General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc. (the U.S.)

  • Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (the U.S.)

  • MDA Corporation (the U.K.)

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (the U.S.)


  • In June 2021, Iridium Communications Inc. was awarded a contract worth USD 30 million by the U.S. Army for development of payload that is to be mounted on small satellites that supports navigation systems, guidance and control for the global positioning system (GPS) and GPS-denied precision systems.

  • In May 2021, Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded a contract worth USD 13.3 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for building navigation, timing, and position payloads for DARPA's Project Blackjack

  • In February 2021, L3Harris Technologies received a contract worth USD 137 million by the U.S. Space Force for delivery of 4 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 market research 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 satellite payload 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


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 (The U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (The U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Rest of the World (Latin America and the Middle East & Africa )

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 14.44 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.34 billion by 2027.

Growing at a CAGR of 7.49% overall, the market will slightly decline in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and is predicted to start recovering from the end of 2021.

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

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

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

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 the units. However, launch activities from several international space agencies and launch providers are delayed owing to the lockdown in various countries to control the spread of the virus. The launch of Soyuz from French Guiana and the UAE’s first Mars mission has been delayed due to this pandemic. The delays and downfalls in the satellite industry will directly affect the satellite payload industry.

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