GVR Report cover Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Report

Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Analysis Report By Mass, By End Use (Defense & Security), By Application (Communication & Navigation, Scientific Research), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: May, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-230-3
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 128

Industry Insights

The global nanosatellite and microsatellite market size was estimated at USD 1.28 billion in 2018 and is expected to develop at a 22.2% CAGR from 2019 to 2025. Growing demand for miniaturized satellites across various industry verticals is expected to provide an impetus to the market.

Launch of small satellites via heavy vehicles has proved to be quite challenging in recent years, resulting in increased demand for development of small launch vehicles. Traditionally, small satellites were launched as an additional payload with larger satellites, which gave rise to launch and cost constraints. Need for small launch vehicles that can overcome these cost constraints culminated in the development of Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs).

U.S. nanosatellite & microsatellite market

SSLVs hold the potential to introduce differentiation in the cost of launching nanosatellites and microsatellites. Initially, micro-launchers were used to perform experiments. However, low entry barriers, coupled with private and institutional funding, are allowing manufacturers to aggressively develop SSLVs and capture a potential share in the nanosatellite market.

Small satellites are rigorously witnessing continuous technological advancements owing to their simple and faster construction and design requirements. The low cost of these satellites has broadened the range of possible space missions across verticals that are currently unserved. Moreover, simplified designing and development allow integration of latest technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, in small satellites in order to enhance their capabilities and mitigate some of the compromises made to reduce system mass.

Furthermore, these satellites use Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), and visible transmission technologies to increase signal frequency and thereby increase transfer speeds. The use of these frequencies helps in acquisition of large amounts of data, which in turn reduces continuous monitoring from the ground. This simplifies and reduces the cost of ground systems.

However, nanosatellites and microsatellites are more prone to failures and do not have any major impact in terms of providing any novel and market-redefining capabilities. Nevertheless, Machine Learning (ML) intelligence on various space development platforms is contributing toward providing efficient communications, improving spacecraft reliability, providing more efficient computing capabilities, and enhancing coordination within the overall development of a mission.

Mass Insights

Nanosatellites captured a revenue share of more than 75.0% in 2018 owing to their growing deployment for earth observation missions. Data from Earth observation satellites have significantly proven beneficial for various applications such as improving water management, tracking refugee population, carrying out relief operations, and national defense. Nanosatellites have further revolutionized navigation and transportation capabilities, which has resulted in improved safety records, efficient routes, and lower operating costs.

Research organizations are developing strategies that envisage the use of smaller satellites for academic purposes as well as for conducting technology experiments in space. For instance, NASA’s CubeSat initiative has offered opportunities to educational institutions and NGOs to collaborate in upcoming launch of small satellites. This innovative technology by NASA is providing CubeSat developers a cost-efficient pathway to conduct scientific studies and technological demonstrations in space.

Application Insights

The earth observation/remote sensing segment accounted for a revenue share of more than 45.0% in the nanosatellite and microsatellite market in 2018 as several governments continue to invest in earth observation and meteorology projects. For instance, according to the U.S. Group on Earth Observations, the U.S. government allocates more than USD 3 billion per annum for civil earth observations and space-related missions.

Growing importance of large amounts of data collected from Earth observation satellites caters to different application areas such as urban planning, agriculture, water resources, mineral prospecting, forestry, disaster management, and ocean resources. Rising need for earth observation data in geo-information products and increasingly central role of Big Data reinforces the development potential of commercial activities, propelling the growth of smallsats in earth observation applications.

The industry has witnessed wide adoption of smallsats in communication and navigation owing to increased popularity of advanced technologies such as Over-The-Top (OTT) services and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). Moreover, miniaturized communication satellites are rigorously designed for delivering high performance and deployment on high altitude platforms. These payloads can deliver fixed, mobile, and broadcast services for regional area coverage.

Demand for small satellites is expected to grow over the forecast period as both individual customers and enterprise customers continue to subscribe to communication services. The subsequent growth of the communication sector is prompting enterprises as well as governments to develop and launch small satellites to cater to communication applications. Governments are particularly allocating funds to undertake research and development on satellite projects. For instance, the Government of India in its Union Budget 2018-19 allocated approximately USD 89 billion to the Department of Space for undertaking various space-related projects. The department is expected to spend the majority of this budget on researching and developing innovative launch vehicles and spacecraft.

End-use Insights

The commercial sector dominated the global market in 2018. This can be attributed to increase in communication, broadcasting, and navigation activities. According to the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), the broadband revenues from satellite were under 6% of satellite services revenues in 2015. However, the association has predicted that by 2024, the broadband revenues from satellites will rise at a CAGR of 29%.

Global nanosatellite and microsatellite market

The defense and security segment captured a revenue share of over 25.0% in 2018 as small satellites play a significant role in defense space architecture to enhance operational support to military forces. Need for expanding the lifespan of military use satellites is driving demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites in the military sector. Unlike large satellites, smaller ones provide an opportunity to experiment and train, which has led to increased inclination for their adoption. These satellites provide the capability to disaggregate military satellite functions and communications between other satellites, which surges its capacity and makes them more secure.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the global market with a revenue share of over 50% in 2018, owing to increasing investments in space-related activities. For instance, every year NASA allocates a specific budget for space-related activities including science, aeronautics, space technology, exploration, and other space operations. Moreover, rise in regional demand for small satellites from different end-use sectors such as research organizations, military and defense, and telecommunications has provided an impetus to the regional market. For instance, in December 2018, NASA launched a series of new CubeSats in collaboration with Rocket Lab, under the Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract.

Asia Pacific is anticipated to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market as economies in the region, such as Japan and India, continue to aggressively launch small satellites for communication and navigation purposes. Japan is developing strategies to tap the demand for compact satellites and aircraft to combat the need for miniaturization. Apart from these, smaller countries such as South Korea and Singapore have entered the smallsat production market with an aim to launch their own satellites into orbits irrespective of the scale of implementation.

Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Share Insights

Key industry players include Innovative Solutions In Space, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Dauria Aerospace, GomSpace Group AB, and SpaceQuest Ltd. Nanosatellites and microsatellites have witnessed substantial growth in terms of spacecraft development, built, and launches over the past decade.

Development of the CubeSat concept has enabled companies to find a different role in satellite design rather than traditional roles, which was initially a costly affair. Moreover, large system integrators have dominated the space industry for a long time, but advances in the small satellite industry have allowed smaller companies such as Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS); GomSpace Group AB; and Tyvank Inc. to emerge and have a more established role at the forefront of the small satellite industry.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual/Historical data

2014 - 2017

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Market revenue in USD Million, CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and MEA

Country scope

U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, China, India, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to five analyst working days)

If you need specific information that is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of the customization

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market report on the basis of mass, application, end-use, and region:

  • Mass Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Nanosatellites

    • Microsatellites

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Communication & Navigation

    • Earth Observation/Remote Sensing

    • Scientific Research

    • Technology and Academic Training

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Government

    • Defence & Security

    • Commercial

    • Civil

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • MEA

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