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The global space sensors market size was valued at USD 5.51 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 4.82 billion in 2023 to USD 7.36 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period.
Space sensors, also known as spaceborne sensors, are specialized devices used in space missions to gather valuable data and observations about spacecraft, Earth, celestial bodies, and the surrounding space environment. These sensors come in various types such as optical sensors, infrared sensors, radar sensors, star sensors, IMU sensors, GPS sensors, and others. They are crucial for scientific research, exploration, and monitoring.
Furthermore, space sensors are used in various applications, from observing and studying the Earth’s environment to exploring distant planets and galaxies. They play a vital role in space exploration, weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, and communication. For instance, in March 2021, ABB installed an optical sensor on GHGSat's Hugo satellite to monitor greenhouse gases such as methane. Hugo is the newest member of the GHGSat constellation, and as part of SpaceX's ride-on program, it was launched on January 24, 2021. The rise in space exploration missions by various countries is anticipated to boost the space sensors market growth during the forecast period.
Pandemic Negatively Impacted Market due to Delayed Delivery and Manufacturing of Sensors
The COVID-19 pandemic had a slight impact on the global space sensors industry. It caused supply chain disruptions affecting the production and distribution of space based sensors. Additionally, restrictions on movement, lockdowns, and border closures in various countries disrupted the flow of raw materials, components, and finished products. This delayed sensor manufacturing and delivery impacted ongoing space missions and projects, postponing, particularly those in the planning or launch phase.
Launch schedules were affected as launch sites and facilities implemented safety measures to protect personnel. The pandemic underscored the importance of essential missions such as Earth observation, for environmental monitoring and disaster management. As a result, some space agencies and companies prioritized funding for these critical missions, leading to increased demand for specific types of space sensors while reducing investment in other non-essential applications.
Quantum Sensors and Nano Technology are Key Trends Gaining Popularity in the Market
Technological advancements and product innovations are vital trends in the market. Major players in the market are focusing on developing technologically advanced sensors to sustain the conditions of the space environment and improve the reliability and efficiency of the sensors. Quantum sensors can detect minute changes in their surroundings. They can identify items underwater or underground or offer navigational information if GPS is knocked out or is unavailable. They also play an important role in developing practical quantum computing based on quantum bits or qubits in quantum computers.
Qubits are information-gathering and carrying bits that can be created or naturally arise as photons, ions, and neutral atoms. Unlike quantum computers, which require hundreds of thousands of tightly controlled qubits isolated from the environment at usable scales, quantum sensors use the fragility of such quantum states to extract information from the environment.
For instance, in August 2022, a German collaboration led by Q.ANT, Bosch, TRUMPF, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) intended to use quantum technology to improve satellite measurement stability indefinitely.
Only by constantly maintaining high-precision attitude control of satellites in their orbits can reliable transmission of satellite communication signals be achieved. Signals weaken when a satellite moves out of position. Additionally, quantum sensors are essential in gravity sensing and gravitational wave detection, allowing scientists to witness cosmic phenomena such as black hole mergers and neutron star collis
Expanding Satellite Constellations to Catalyze the Space Sensors Market Growth
A satellite constellation (or swarm) is a network of identical or similar-type artificial entities that serve the same goal and are controlled by the same entity. Such groups communicate with ground stations globally and are occasionally interconnected. They function as a system and are meant to complement one another. To begin, satellites in swarms rotate in many, usually comparable orbits (orbital planes), ensuring continuous or virtually continuous worldwide coverage.
Subsequently, individual constellation units can technically cover a larger area than a single remote sensing medium. With dozens of satellite constellations in orbit, our planet will see many more launches in the near future. Existing and new satellite constellations are valuable in many fields, including the Internet of Things, telecommunications, navigation, weather monitoring, and Earth and space observation.
For instance, in September 2022, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO), a U.S.-based independent, nonpartisan government agency that provides various services for the U.S. Congress, the number of active satellites steadily grew in the past few years and then skyrocketed from 1,400 in 2015 to 5,500 by the spring of 2022.
Increasing Government Investments for Defense and Security Applications to Propel Market Growth
The growing importance of space-based assets for defense and security propels the demand for sensors. These sensors are used for surveillance, intelligence gathering, and early warning systems. Space sensors are pivotal in surveillance and intelligence gathering activities for defense and security purposes. Satellites equipped with high-resolution optical sensors, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and other advanced imaging technologies provide crucial intelligence data to monitor potential threats, assess military activities, and gather strategic information in real-time.
For instance, in April 2023, the U.S. Space Force invested in ground and space-based sensors, surveillance systems, and commercial space tracking data to improve space domain awareness. The military branch's fiscal year 2024 budget plan includes USD 584 million for space-tracking activities, such as developing optical telescopes and surveillance satellites, to improve the detection, tracking, and identification of objects orbiting the Earth. Governments are also investing in satellite sensors that detect and track ballistic missile launches and provide early warning systems. These sensors are critical for national defense as they allow for fast reactions to missile threats and protect territories and inhabitants.
Malfunctioning and High Costs of Sensors are Expected to Hinder the Growth of the Market
Malfunctioning of space sensors can have a direct impact on the success of a space mission. The precision and dependability of sensor data are critical for making well-informed choices throughout a mission. When sensors fail, it can lead to inadequate data gathering, reduced measurement accuracy, and more severe decision-making processes. This is especially important for scientific missions studying distant celestial bodies or monitoring Earth's climate and natural calamities.
In such circumstances, compromised information can obstruct mission objectives and hinder scientific discoveries or operational goals planned for the mission. Spaceborne sensors are subjected to incredibly hostile conditions, including strong radiation, vacuum, and temperature changes. These environmental conditions may result in sensor degradation, premature wear and tear, or even total failure.
For instance, in 2022, the maiden launch of India's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) failed to reach orbit due to a malfunction in the rocket's kickstage. ISRO announced that the VTM had failed, placing the satellite in an elliptical orbit of 76 x 356 km instead of the planned 356 km circular orbit, rendering the satellite unusable. This did not detect the sensor error and take corrective action, resulting in the satellite being placed in the wrong orbit.
Optical Sensor Segment to Propel Owing to the Increased Applications in Geospatial Imaging
By type, the market is segmented into IMU sensors, GPS sensors, star sensors, optical sensors, synthetic aperture radar sensors, temperature sensors, vibration sensors, pressure sensors, gas sensors, and others. The optical sensors segment dominates and is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. Optical sensors can provide high-resolution images and precise measurements of the size, shape, and orientation of objects in space. Such sensors have a major application in geospatial imaging and are anticipated to dominate the segment.
IMU sensors are projected to have a significant segmental share during the study period. IMU sensors are crucial and used in space missions to measure and track a spacecraft's orientation, position, and speed. With increase in space missions, these sensors are expected to have notable demand during the forecast period.
Satellite Segment Dominate Owing to Increased Satellite Launches by Various Space Agencies
On the basis of platform, the market is segmented into satellite, launch vehicle, rover, and testing probes & space station. The satellite segment dominated the market in the base year and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period due to increasing scheduled satellite launches by major public and private satellite operators for numerous applications.
The launch vehicle segment is predicted to grow significantly during the forecast period. Launch vehicles, or launch systems, are used to transport spacecraft from the Earth's surface into space. These launchers have become increasingly popular due to increase in the number of small satellites used for many applications such as Earth observation, communications, and scientific research.
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Defense Segment to Dominate Owing to Increased Need of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)
The market by end user is segmented into civil, commercial, and defense. The defense segment dominated the market in 2022. Satellites are the main focus of military space activities. They are widely used to support military or security-related activities, such as Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), verifying compliance with arms control.
The commercial segment is anticipated to grow with the highest CAGR from 2023-2030. The growth in the segment is due to rise in space tourism, telecommunication, and data transmission by various government and private space agencies.
In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
North America Space Sensors Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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North America holds the largest space sensors market share. The market in North America was valued at USD 2.24 billion in 2022. The market’s growth is due to rise in investment activities by government and private players such as SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Europe will experience significant growth during the forecast period. Growth in the region has been driven by growing demand for technologically advanced satellites. For instance, in October 2020, the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract to develop the world's first iodized electric propulsion system. These important developments are driving the market in this region.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period. The growth in the region is owing to the region’s growing space sector. China, Japan, and India are leading technological economies investing in space exploration programs and missions.
The Middle East & Africa is expected to grow moderately during the study period. The region’s growth is due to the rise in focus from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to grow the space sector and launch ambitious space programs.
Latin America is anticipated to grow gradually. The increase in contracts for space launch services in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia is projected to boost market growth in the region. In September 2022, Voyager Space signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Colombian Space Agency, the El Salvador Aerospace Institute, the Mexican Space Agency, the Guatemalan Space Science and Technology Association, and Costa Rican startup Orbital Space Technologies. Nanoracks and Voyager have signed individual MoU with each agency to open up access to space and promote commercial spaceflight opportunities in their respective countries.
Leading Players Focus on Technological Advancements in Space Sensors for Various Applications
The global market is relatively consolidated with key players such as Safran, ABB, L3Harris Technologies Inc, Honeywell Technologies inc, and others. Major players focus on technological advancements, product innovations, and mergers & acquisitions to increase their market share and sustain the market competition. Overall, there is a significant investment in the research and development of space sensors for various end users, including military, commercial, and civil.
An Infographic Representation of Space Sensors Market
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The 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 and operating services. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market growth, trends analysis, and size and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth in recent years.
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CAGR of 6.2% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Type, By Platform, By End User, and By Geography
By End User
As per the study by Fortune Business Insights, the market size was USD 5.51 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
The optical sensors segment is expected to lead the market due to the increasing geospatial imaging sector.
The market size in North America stood at USD 2.24 billion in 2022.
Expanding satellite constellation is anticipated to drive the global market growth.
Some of the top players in the market are ABB, Airbus, L3 Harris Technologies Inc, and Honeywell International Inc.
The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
Malfunctioning and the high cost of sensors are expected to hinder the market growth.
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