April 20, 2024

The global Small Satellite market is driven by growing investments in space technology


Small satellites, also known as smallsats, are miniaturized satellites having a wet mass between 1 to 500 kg. They have a variety of applications including earth observation, technology demonstration, and commercial uses such as telecommunications and in-orbit verification. Earth observation small satellites carry remote sensing instruments to monitor agricultural crop health, map changes in urban areas, support disaster response and track environmental changes. Technology demonstration smallsats test new components and subsystems in space. Commercial smallsats provide connectivity and internet access services to users worldwide. The demand for smallsats is rising due to their benefits over traditional large satellites such as lower development costs, shorter manufacturing timelines, standardized missions and launch opportunities on rideshare missions with other satellites. They provide cost-effective solutions for connectivity, earth observation, and space-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications. With rapid innovation, smallsats can perform duties that were once possible only with large satellites.

The global Small Satellite Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 5,220.7 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15.% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.

Market key trends:

One of the major trends driving the small satellite market is the increasing investments in constellations. Many companies are developing or have announced plans to deploy large constellations of smallsats to provide services such as global connectivity and earth imagery. For example, SpaceX’s Starlink is deploying thousands of satellites to offer global broadband internet connectivity. Similarly, Planet is deploying an imaging constellation named PlanetScope to capture high-resolution images of the entire Earth daily. Such mega-constellations are bringing substantial investments into the smallsat market. Another trend is the growing use of innovative technologies in smallsats. New technologies such as software-defined payloads, electric propulsion, additive manufacturing, and reusable launch vehicles are enhancing smallsat capabilities. This allows smallsats to undertake complex missions at lower costs. Furthermore, there is increasing adoption of CubeSat form factor smallsats due to their design modularity and ease of integration. The standardization brought by CubeSat designs is simplifying access to space for many organizations.

Porter’s Analysis

Threat of new entrants: The threat of new entrants is moderate as significant capital investment and technical expertise is required to launch small satellites and establish a customer base.

Bargaining power of buyers: The bargaining power of buyers is moderate due to presence of numerous established players offering alternatives in the market.

Bargaining power of suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers is moderate as procurement of materials and components requires collaboration with few technology providers and satellite component manufacturers.

Threat of new substitutes: The threat of new substitutes is low as small satellites are an integral part of the space industry and do not have economical substitutes fulfilling the same function.

Competitive rivalry: Competition in the market is high among the numerous global players focusing on contracts and collaboration to strengthen their market position and service offerings.

Key Takeaways

The global small satellite market is expected to witness high growth. The global Small Satellite Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 5,220.7 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 15% over the forecast period 2024 to 2031.

North America region currently dominates the market owing to large presence of prominent manufacturers and space programs in the US. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period with increasing government investments in space technologies by countries such as India and China.

Key players operating in the small satellite market include Harris Corp, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc. Harris Corp is a global aerospace and defense technology innovator focused on mission-critical solutions. The company operates MoonRanger small satellite program for commercial and government applications.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it