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The global satellite bus market size was USD 27.67 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 30.08 billion in 2021 to USD 54.33 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.81% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with satellite bus witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a steady growth of 3.31% in 2020. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
A satellite bus is a central power or data distribution network that houses thermal control, telemetry tracking and command, electric power system, attitude control system, and propulsion system. Spacecraft bus manufacturers build it according to customers’ requirements and depending on the type of payload it carries. Manufacturing of the satellite bus focuses mostly on three main objectives, payload carrying capacity, payload lifting power allocation, and heat dispersal of the spacecraft bus.
According to PwC on Satellite Manufacturing, the rising space-dependent needs of security agencies have led to various telecommunications and remote sensing space missions to cater to their national security requirements. According to Euroconsult, launch service and manufacturing of small satellite is estimated to increase 3.5 times in the upcoming decade from USD 12.6 billion (2009-2018) to USD 42.8 billion (2019-2028).
For instance, in March 2021, Airbus was awarded a two-year A/B1 contract worth USD 3.4 million to study in-space manufacturing under the PER ASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration (PERIOD) project under Horizon 2020 Programme by European Commission. It will focus on the in-space manufacturing of space-based components such as satellite assembly components, antenna reflectors, and satellite payload replacements.
High Demand for Small Satellite Worldwide Will Witness Positive Impact on Market Growth
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the space industry, but market research has showcased moderate growth in 2020 and is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
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High Adoption Rate of Satellite Constellation for Various Applications Due to Improved Reliability to Boost Market Growth
Over the last decade, the space industry has witnessed a high adoption rate of small satellites or satellite constellation applications in military and commercial domains. This adoption of satellite constellation for applications such as ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), satellite communication, earth observation, and telemetry applications, satellite-based internet services has been driven by the proximity of the constellation to the earth's surface and high reliability than the traditional single satellite utility for various applications.
These satellite constellation-based internet services will facilitate uniform coverage worldwide, lower launch cost, off-the-shelf availability of the critical components. These factors influence the rise in space launches carrying various payloads, cargo, and crews to the earth's orbit.
Increased Satellite Launches due to High Adoption Rate Across Commercial and Military Sectors to Drive Market Growth
Space systems and satellite infrastructure require numerous components that help deliver imaging solutions, communications, signals, and other solutions that enhance the satellites' capabilities. Since the advent of nano, micro, and small spacecraft buses, conventional components used in the technology have become more expensive. Furthermore, there is need for additional space infrastructure such as ground monitoring stations and associated components. These factors are anticipated to drive market growth at a moderate rate.
According to its recent market study on Satellite Manufacturing, it has been estimated to launch more than 10,000 small satellites by 2026 into the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It also highlights the rising trend of the partnership between private small and microsatellite manufacturers and government agencies. Despite the dwindling reliability of the medium and heavy satellite during the forecast period, the high demand and adoption rate of spacecraft buses for commercial and military applications have driven the market growth during the forecast period.
Rise in Space Exploration Missions and Decrease in Space Launch Cost to Propel Market Growth
The commercial space exploration cost is anticipated to decline as smaller launch vehicles facilitate smooth access for potential space market entrants. Market’s key players and governmental organizations emphasize additive layer manufacturing (ALM) to manufacture space-based products and services. The decrease in space launches is anticipated due to the advent of reusable launch vehicles and rise in space exploration programs.
Over the last decade, governmental space organizations have been emphasizing interplanetary space exploration such as the Moon, Mars, and other cosmic objects and the launch of space-based telescopic satellites encased in the buses for space exploration.
High Maintenance Cost and Unavailability of Critical Components during Pandemic to Affect Growth
According to the NASA study on Error Cost Escalation through Space Project Life Cycle, the study showcases the degree of cost escalation in detecting and resolving errors and delay in satellite manufacturing. Cost of Error resolution is 1 unit of space system cost factors at the requirement stage, 3-8 units at designs stage, 7-16 units at the manufacturing stage, 21-78 units at integration and testing stage, and 29-more than 1500 units at operations stage.
The design complexity and the integration of multiple satellite instruments and subsystems in large-size satellite manufacturing involve many errors at various stages of its life cycle. This factor is the main factor in increasing cost escalation for error resolution at different stages.
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Small Satellite Segment Dominated the Market Owing to Increasing Deployment of Small Satellites for Military Applications
By size, the market is divided into small satellite, medium satellite, and heavy satellite.
The small satellite segment held the highest shares in 2020 and is estimated to show remarkable growth during the forecast period. The dominance is due to the increased number of small satellites launched from 2017 to 2021. Increasing demand for military satellites from defense forces for real-time information propels the satellite bus market growth.
The medium satellite segment will show significant growth during 2021-2028. The growth is attributed to the growing demand for seamless internet access and advancing technology in the telecom sector.
Propulsion System Segment Will Show Significant Growth Due to Growing Adoption of Advanced Propulsion System
Based on subsystem, the satellite bus market is classified into structures and mechanisms, thermal control system, electric power system, attitude control system, telemetry tracking & control (TT&C), flight software, and propulsion system.
The structures and mechanisms segment held significant shares in the market in 2020. The growth is due to advanced structures that can survive severe forces.
The propulsion system segment will showcase significant growth during 2021-2028. The growth is due to the adoption of advanced propulsion systems, growing number of space exploration missions, and high investment in the space sector. The thermal control system is projected to show moderate growth as it maintains the proper temperature for spacecraft bus and its components.
Communication Segment Dominated the Market Owing to Growing Deployment of Nano and Micro Satellite for Real-Time Communication
By application, the market is divided into earth observation & meteorology, communication, scientific research & exploration, surveillance & security, and mapping & navigation.
The communication segment is anticipated to show remarkable growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to rising deployment of micro and nanosatellites for various communication applications.
The surveillance & security segment is projected to show remarkable growth during the forecast period due to rising deployment of small and medium satellites from the defense forces to monitor borders and position of enemy forces or installations.
North America Satellite Bus Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America dominated the market in 2020 and is valued at USD 12.15 billion. The growth is attributed to increased expenditure on the space sector and rising satellite launching contracts between the U.S. Department of Defense and space agency. In October 2020, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency signed a contract worth USD 18.3 million with Telesat to manufacture two satellite buses for the Blackjack Low-Earth orbit constellations.
Asia Pacific is projected to show remarkable growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to increasing expenditure from China, South Korea, and India on the space sector. The Indian government spent approximately USD 17.66 billion on the space sector in 2020. Additionally, in November 2021, China launched a tactical military communications satellite, ChinaSat-1D. It uses the DFH-4 bus that provides onboard power and propulsion systems that amount to a 10 to 15-year lifespan.
Europe will showcase significant growth during 2021-2028. The growth is due to increasing spending from space agencies in the U.K, Germany, Russia, and others. Furthermore, key OEMs such as Thales Group, Airbus, and others drive the market growth across Europe.
The rest of the world will showcase moderate growth during 2021-2028. This growth is due to increasing expenditure on the space sector from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, and others. Saudi Arabian government plans USD 2.1 billion for its space program by 2030 under an economic diversification plan.
Key Market Players Focusing on Business Expansion through Contracts, New Product Launches, and Partnerships with Space Agencies
Spacecraft and satellite bus manufacturers focus on business expansion through new partnerships, agreements, and contracts with government and space companies. In November 2021, NanoAvionics announced plans to roll out its 5th satellite rideshare mission with its new MP42 bus aboard SpaceX Transporter-4. Furthermore, in April 2020, NASA selected NanoAvionics to build a 12U nanosatellite bus for an in-orbit demonstration of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3).
An Infographic Representation of Satellite Bus Market
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The report provides a detailed satellite bus market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as top space companies, satellite types, subsystems, and leading applications. Moreover, the report includes market trends, market dynamics, investment plan, business strategy, growth opportunities, and regional development status. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Size, Subsystem, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 27.67 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 54.33 billion by 2028.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.81% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The small satellite segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Thales Group is the leading player in the global market.
North America held the highest market share in 2020.
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