Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Report

Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Analysis By Mass (Microsatellites, Nanosatellites), By Application, By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Nov, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-230-3
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 105

Industry Insights

The global nanosatellite and microsatellite market size was estimated at USD 991.4 million in 2016. The low manufacturing cost associated with nano and micro satellites is expected to drive the industry growth over the forecast period.

Nanosatellites and microsatellites assist in achieving critical missions with the use of emerging technologies. Technological advancements such as miniaturization have mimimized launch costs owing to the reduced size and mass of the spacecraft and more manageable proportions. These satellites have become more attractive than conventional satellites to serve the various needs of countries in accessing space missions. 

U.S. nanosatellite and microsatellite market

Furthermore, the nanosatellite and microsatellite market has augmented the range of possible space missions by lowering the cost of accessing the space. A successful small satellite project requires a highly skilled technical staff, clear mission objectives and constraints, a layered and failure-resilient system architecture, and a short timescale to prevent the possible escalation of objectives. Due to such factors, it has become easy for many academic institutions to design small satellites.

Mass Insights

Nanosatellites dominated the market with a revenue of over USD 700 million in 2016as they are increasingly capable of performing missions that were previously possible only with larger satellites. The progression toward low-cost satellite-based internet services is enabling a transition to nanosatellites and microsatellites. 

Nanosatellites are evolving at a rapid pace with significant developments in on-board internet systems, 3D printed electronic satellite equipment, and electric propulsion systems. Additionally, there is an enhanced need for developing cost-efficient space missions to facilitate applications including scientific research, communication, navigation, and earth observation. Furthermore, key players are focusing on manufacturing and developing nanosatellities with innovative technologies that require less human involvement and can operate independently.

Research organizations are developing strategies to make use of smaller satellites for scientific and earth observation missions. For instance, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to use smaller satellites with innovative features and high-resolution cameras for its remote sensing application.

Application Insights

The earth observation/remote sensing segment dominated the industry in 2016 as earth observation is the main investment area among space-related organizations. This segment is expected to provide significant growth opportunities as key players are focusing on developing new levels of data service offerings in satellite imaging. Furthermore, the growing government investments in earth observation and metrology are expected to boost the segment growth. 

The earth observation application targets the monitoring of not only land and water masses but also that of atmospherical phenomenon. The satellites are installed with small focal distance cameras that provide images of large cloud formations. The re-visitation interval can be dramatically reduced by deploying several nanosatellites in the same orbit during important events.

The communication and navigation segment contributed significanlty to the industry growth. This growth can be attributed to the increased popularity of advanced technologies such as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Over-The-Top (OTT) services. These satellites are ideal for broadcasting applications due to their large coverage capability and distance-intensive characteristics. Furthermore, as the communications industry is growing rapidly due to the need for increased communication services in both consumer and commercial markets, the demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites is expected to grow over the next few years.

End-Use Insights

The commercial sector captured a revenue share of over 35% in 2016 owing to the increased proliferation of nanosatellites in communication applications. Additionally, the burgeoning focus on geological research including satellite imaging is expected to boost the segment growth. Although the government sector is one of the key buyers of satellite images, the commercial sector is expected to witness a surge owing to the increased demand for data in finance, mining, and agricultural industries. 

The defense and security sector accounted for a significant revenue share in 2016 as small satellites are widely used for navigation, military communication, and intelligence gathering. They also help the defense sector in detecting missile launches and tracking targets. Small satellites also help in enhancing the reliability and accuracy of global positioning system for direct air travel in the air force.


Global nanosatellite and microsatellite market

The increasing need for remote sensing and communication has increased the number of launches of nanosatellites and microsatellites in the past few years. Government support to incentivize developments in the space-based remote sensing industry is further expected to boost the demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites.

Regional Insights

The North America nanosatellite and microsatellite market is expected to dominate the industry with a revenue share of over 50% in 2016. The key factor driving the regional growth includes the rise in the demand for these satellites from different end-use sectors such as military & defense, research organizations, and telecommunications. The increasing demand from the military sector is expected to impact industry growth over the next few years positively. For instance, the U.S. forces have awarded contracts to space organizations for facilitating the placement of military payloads as an alternative to deploy space-based capabilities. 

The Asia Pacific market accounted for a revenue share of close to 15% in 2016. The region is witnessing increased growth in developing and deploying small satellites in the commercial sector. For instance, the governments of several countries including Japan are expected to deploy commercial satellite earth observation constellations over the next few years, which is expected to propel regional growth.

The European nanosatellite and microsatellite market is expected to contribute significantly to the revenue share owing to the increasing budget dedicated to space research for marketable and innovate products and services. However, the regional market is expected to witness a slower growth over the next few years. The sluggish growth can be attributed to the delay in satellite launches and complex government framework.

Competitive Insights

The key industry players include SpaceQuest Ltd. Sierra Nevada Corporation, Innovative Solutions In Space, GomSpace Group AB, and Dauria Aerospace. They are engaging in mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships to cope up with the increasing competition. Moreover, the proliferation of nanosatellite-based remote sensing has intensified industry rivalry, enabling key players to develop a competitive advantage to offer new capabilities. For instance, in July 2016, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) announced its partnership with Goonhilly to enable space exploration beyond the earth’s orbit by developing a model that is low cost and high value. 

Nanosatellite and microsatellite providers are focusing on developing innovative products, launching small satellites, and providing solutions to cater to a specific industry vertical. For example, in September 2016, SSTL announced the launch of AISat-1B to process the earth observation data from the satellite for disaster management, agricultural monitoring, urban planning, and land use mapping.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation

Market revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S., Canada, UK, 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 market 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 the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global nanosatellite and microsatellite market based on mass, application, end use, and region.

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

    • Microsatellite

    • Nanosatellite

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

    • Communication and navigation

    • Earth observation/remote sensing

    • Scientific research

    • Technology and academic training

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

    • Government

    • Defence and security

    • Commercial

    • Civil

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

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • MEA

Key questions answered by the report
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