Demand for High-resolution Imagery Drives Global Smallsat Market

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Satellite above the earthAn increasing demand for high-resolution imagery will drive growth for the global small satellite market, which would be valued at US$4.364 billion by 2021, according to a report.

GMI Research released the report that also cited other growth factors such as an increased investment in space science and more space missions by government agencies. Some of these missions include the U.S. Army’s development of a 110-pound microsatellite that recently went online in space.

Commercial Exploration

In the past, space exploration projects seemed to be an endeavor reserved for government units, as these have enough funding and other resources to embark on such initiatives. However, the availability of INS simulation and GPS simulator devices from providers like CAST Navigation has now allowed commercial companies to developer their spacecraft.

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Commercial entities have sought to deploy low earth orbit satellites for business purposes. Nanosatellites, for instance, served as a cost-efficient way to support communication, scientific research and environmental monitoring projects among others. The GMI Research report expects this segment to be the fastest growing niche in the small satellite market, due to relaxed regulations and simpler manufacturing process.

End Users & Applications

By 2021, the commercial small satellite market will record the highest rate of growth thanks to more research and development activities. Satellites used for navigation systems and Internet services would be the major trends for this market. In addition, geospatial technology for navigation, agriculture and natural disaster monitoring will contribute the commercial market’s growth.

Meanwhile, Earth observation and meteorology would account for the lion’s share of the small satellite market worldwide. Military, commercial and civil space explorations will use more small satellites to monitor natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms, volcanic activity and earthquakes.

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The increasing use of small satellites allows more businesses to improve their services, including those that rely on GPS-based technology, as space exploration is no longer exclusive to government agencies.