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The global remote sensing satellite market size was valued at USD 9.67 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 14.11 billion in 2023 to USD 29.19 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period.
Remote sensing is the acquisition of data from a distance. Remote sensing satellites are used for various applications in many sectors such as civil, military, and government. Their ability to provide enhanced situational awareness to the user makes them of paramount importance during missions with a lack of on-ground intelligence and surveillance. These satellites are used in agriculture, military, weather forecasting, climate observation, and many other industries.
A remote sensing satellite captures information about the Earth's surface using various sensors and instruments from a considerable distance. These satellites have specialized sensors that can detect and measure electromagnetic radiation in different wavelengths. These sensors include optical cameras, multispectral and hyperspectral sensors, thermal sensors, LiDAR systems, and others. Furthermore, these satellites are placed in specific orbits around the Earth to provide optimal coverage and data collection capabilities. Remote sensing technologies continue to evolve, and advanced satellites are designed with improved capabilities and higher spatial and spectral resolutions to enhance data collection.
COVID-19 Pandemic Partially Hampered Market Growth due to Supply Chain Disruptions and Delayed Launches
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the space domain had a significant loss due to decreased overall budget of public space agencies across the globe and delays in several satellite programs & 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 May 2021, the launch of India's geospatial imaging satellite was delayed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. GISAT-1 was the first domestic astronomical or earth observation satellite in geostationary orbit. The satellite was scheduled to launch in May 2021. However, it was delayed as workers at various centers of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), including the Sriharikota Rocket Launch Center were affected by COVID-19.
COVID-19 has also impacted various satellite manufacturers who have filed for bankruptcy due to business losses. In March 2020, OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just about a week after its latest satellite launch. According to the company's officials, the company had laid off most of its employees, while the company continues to maintain a satellite operations center for about 70 satellites already in orbit.
Despite several restrictions, several countries have launched satellites during the pandemic. China launched a group of satellites during the COVID-19 period. In March 2020, China successfully launched three new military surveillance satellites using the Long March 2C rocket. The rocket carried three Chinese military Group 6 Yaogan-30 surveillance satellites and was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China.
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Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for Higher Accuracy to Transform Market Outlook
Space organizations worldwide are working on integrating the latest technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), with onboard satellite computers. This will give the satellite better power to analyze the raw data on board and filter out the necessary data to relay to the user. This will help many sectors, such as predicting crop yields, monitoring climate changes, tracking wildlife populations, mapping, and other processes, which earlier used to be done manually.
AI and ML combine traditional programming with automation techniques, eliminating the need for manually reconfiguring the algorithms. In September 2020, the European Space Agency launched SAT-1, a satellite for Earth observation. The AI algorithm on board will filter out the less-than-perfect images and only return usable data to the terrestrial ground station.
In April 2023, the Keimyungsong-1 satellite of China was controlled without human intervention by an AI on the ground, which selected several locations on Earth and instructed them to take a closer look. AI was in complete control of the Chinese satellite to observe experimental remote sensing satellite's capabilities temporarily. This resulted in the satellite hovering over India and Japan.
Modernization of Agricultural Monitoring to Drive the Remote Sensing Satellite Market
The agriculture industry is upgrading at a swift pace. Modern techniques to improve crop yield very much differ from conventional agricultural methods. Remote sensing has proved to be extremely useful in the industry. To augment crop development and increase crop yield, farmers use the data collected by satellites to support precision growing. Various agricultural applications of remote sensing technologies, such as assessing crop health, detecting irrigation inefficiency, and determining crop height, are done through optical, LiDAR, thermal, and many other sensors.
NASA Harvest is the agency's food security and agriculture program. Their mission is to adopt and enable satellite Earth observation data by organizations across the globe to benefit food security and agriculture worldwide. In March 2023, the Directorate General of Resource Research and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) and agricultural technology company Agr-vision jointly developed a digital satellite and Artificial Intelligence (AI) crop monitoring and yield forecasting program across Kenya. In October 2022, HDFC ERGO announced the launch of technology-enhanced crop yield insurance for farmers. It uses a satellite-based index to provide local, farm-level coverage. Based on satellite data, it will provide a comprehensive coverage of the entire crop lifecycle from seed to harvest.
Increasing Demand for Remote Sensing in Military for Better Situational Awareness will Boost Market Growth
With growing territorial conflict, various countries are focused on investing more in surveillance technologies to ensure the nation's security. Satellites have turned out to be an essential factor in determining the outcome of a war. Earth observation satellites enable armies to have better situational awareness. By leveraging remote sensing data, military personnel can gain valuable insights into terrain analysis, weather patterns, and infrastructure.
Furthermore, the demand for remote sensing in the military is primarily driven by the need for advanced Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Such factors will aid the global remote sensing satellite market growth during the study period. In January 2023, the Polish government signed a five-year contract with France to purchase two military observation satellites from Airbus. With an accuracy of 30 centimeters, the new satellite is expected to enhance the Polish military's reconnaissance capabilities to detect potential military and civilian threats.
Increasing Satellite Density in Lower Orbits may Decelerate Market Growth
Most communications and Earth observation satellites are deployed in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). In recent years, this has brought the orbit to a saturation point with multiple satellites operating in LEO. Most of these are multi-year projects and continue their trajectories for several years. Even after being non-operational, many of these bodies remain in orbit for over 20 years and, overtime, collide with other space debris to create a much larger debris cloud. This phenomenon contributes toward the development of the Kessler syndrome, which is a theory that states that the Earth's orbit could one day become highly oversaturated with space junk, leaving no room for other space missions to follow.
In February 2023, the U.S. Space Force announced that a Russian satellite COSMOS 2499, broke up in space, creating a hazardous cloud of debris in space. It was estimated that the debris could remain in orbit for over a 100 years before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up.
In June 2021, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency found some debris hitting the International Space Station, damaging the orbiting lab's robotic arm. A hole was found in the arm's heat shield during a routine inspection, but the 60-foot-long robotic appendage remains functional.
LEO Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to the Increasing Satellite Missions in the LEO Orbit
Based on orbit, the market is divided into LEO, MEO, GEO, and others. The Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) segment dominates the market and is anticipated to grow fastest during the forecast period. The ease of accessibility of a satellite to the crew and for servicing is more in LEO. The proximity of these satellites to the ground stations also makes them communicate with minimal delay. LEO satellites can cover almost the entire surface of the Earth as they rotate in trajectories around Earth.
The Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) segment is projected to show significant growth during the forecast period. GEO remote sensing satellites rotate at higher altitudes matching the velocity of the Earth, and help monitor weather changes over a specific area at brief intervals.
Disaster Management to Dominate the Market due to Remote Sensing Applications in Humanitarian Operations
Based on application, the market is divided into disaster management, weather forecasting, oceanography, ecology, and others. The disaster management segment is expected to dominate the market share during the forecast period. The segment is also anticipated to have the fastest-growing CAGR during the study period. The segment's growth is due to the high usage of remote sensing satellites during humanitarian operations, as the satellites can detect the affected victims through their imagery and relay their location back to the ground station to send aid. In June 2023, Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Naliya, India. With the help of ISRO satellites INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR, accurate predictions about Biparjoy were made possible, allowing more than 100,000 people to evacuate safely in time.
The weather forecasting segment is expected to grow significantly due to rising demand. Remote sensing used for weather detection or meteorological applications primarily monitors the Earth's weather and climate. Many industries, such as the seafood industry, agriculture, construction, and many more, depend on the weather conditions to function.
Military Segment to Dominate the Market Share due to Advancements in Military Capabilities
Based on end user, the market is trifurcated into civil, military, and government. The military segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. The growing geopolitical tensions and rising territorial conflicts are pushing nations to invest more in developing technologically advanced satellite systems for military applications. Remote sensing satellites provide enhanced ISR capabilities. Spatial data, such as terrain analysis, altitude, and navigation, are beneficial. In August 2022, a Russian launch vehicle carrying an Iranian satellite successfully launched into space. The satellite named “Khayyam” was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by a Russian Soyuz rocket.
The civil segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in terms of CAGR during the forecast period. The modernization of traditional industries such as agriculture and the increasing usage of remote sensing to track climatic changes favor market growth.
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Above 1,000 Kg Segment to Lead due to Growing Demand for Military Satellite
Based on payload, the market is divided into less than 500 kg, 500 kg to 1,000 kg, and above 1,000 kg. The above 1,000 kg segment is projected to have the highest remote sensing satellite market share due to the growing demand for heavy military satellites. Military satellites are built to cater to various needs of the army, navy, and air force. These satellites can enhance ISR higher resolution imagery and have a longer life span.
The less than 500 kg segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The increasing demand for CubeSats and NanoSats for remote sensing in industries, such as oil and energy, agriculture, and others, is projected to drive the segment.
North America Remote Sensing Satellite Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The global market, based on region, is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. The North America market was valued at USD 3.22 billion in 2022. The market growth in this region is due to the growing demand for military satellites. Maxar Technologies and Plane Labs PBC are the big players in the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to record the highest growth rate during the forecast period owing to the growing demand for remote sensing in agriculture, energy, mining, forestry, and others in India, China, and South Korea. Private players also focus on developing cutting-edge technologies that can be integrated with satellites, further enhancing market progress.
The Europe market is expected to grow significantly during the study period. The growth in the region has been driven by increased demand for technologically advanced satellites. The presence of big players in the region, such as Airbus and ICEYE, also bolsters the research and development of technology. Several new players are also emerging in the region.
The Middle East & Africa is expected to witness moderate growth in future. Rising demand for investments in remote sensing technologies significantly boosts the market. The UAE, Israel, and South Africa are increasing their satellite investments, favoring the entry of new players in the market. In May 2023, Bayanat, a provider of geospatial products and services, and Abu Dhabi-based Al Yah Satellite Communications, also known as Yahsat, aimed to build a national satellite remote sensing and Earth Observation (EO) capability in the UAE.
The Latin America market will grow considerably in the upcoming years due to various opportunities for earth observation satellites. In Brazil and Argentina, rising demand for remote sensing services, such as weather forecasting, military applications, ecology, and others, is aiding the market growth.
Key Players Eye Product and Service Collaborations to Offer Better Customer Service
The market consists of various players in the global market. Many private and government space agencies have their remote sensing satellite base in space. However, each of them has different satellites with different abilities, communicating on different bands. Organizations focus on deals and agreements to share satellites and data to expand their cost-effective customer services. For instance, Umbra Lab Inc. and Ursa Major Technologies Inc. announced a partnership to develop Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. SAR satellites can capture satellite images through darkness, clouds, bad weather, and other conditions that can hamper electro-optic imaging satellites.
An Infographic Representation of Remote Sensing Satellite Market
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The report provides detailed industry analysis and focuses on key aspects such as key players, orbits, end users, payload, and application of such satellites. Moreover, the research report offers insights on market trends, drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, market overview, market dynamics, market competition, market size, product pricing, market status, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, it encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market in recent years.
CAGR of 10.9% from 2023-2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Orbit, Application, End User, Payload, and Region
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 9.67 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 29.19 billion by 2030.
The market will likely grow at a CAGR of 10.9% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
The LEO segment is expected to lead the market due to increasing orbital launches globally.
The market size in North America stood at USD 3.22 billion in 2022.
Increasing demand for remote sensing in military for better situational awareness will boost market growth.
Some of the major players operating in the market are Maxar Technologies (U.S.), Ramon. Space (U.S.), Airbus (France), Planet Labs PBC (U.S.), BlackSky (U.S.), Umbra Lab Inc. (U.S.), and others.
The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
Increasing satellite density in lower orbits is projected to decelerate market growth.
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