24 January 2019
Visiongain has launched a new Aerospace & Defence Report Leading 15 Small Satellite Companies 2019: Competitive Landscape Analysis of Established Suppliers of Nanosatellite, Minisatellite, Femtosatellite, Microsatellite, Picosatellite for Application Including Meteorology, Earthquake/Seismic Monitoring, Security/Surveillance, and Scientific Research.
Satellites are typically classified on the basis of function, type of orbit, cost, size, and so forth. This report has classified the small satellite market based on mass, as mass has a greater bearing on the launcher vs. cost trade-off. The mass of these satellites generally refers to in-orbit fully-fuelled wet mass. The term "small satellite" is used for spacecraft with in-orbit masses of less than 500kg. These satellites may be called by different names, such as nanosats and lightsats, by various government agencies and organisations. Nanosatellites typically weigh between 1-10 kilograms (kg), and this report also covers microsatellites (10-100kg), mini satellites (100-500kg), picosatellites (0.1-1kg), and femto satellites (less than 100 grams). The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) also defines small satellites as those whose mission should fill a clear gap and the programme must have a short lead time.
Small satellites are being used for various commercial and research related applications. The optical, microwave, and infrared payloads mounted on small satellites are being used for weather forecasting and meteorology. The use of electronic intelligence (ELINT) and imaging payloads enables their application for security/surveillance, which includes situational awareness, earth observation, and communications. Additionally, synthetic aperture radars (SAR) also enable small satellites to capture images and carry out terrain observation, thereby making them suitable for earthquake / seismic monitoring. They are also being used for other applications, particularly in the area of scientific research being conducted by universities, owing to their ability to provide low-cost access to space.
The Leading 15 Small Satellite Companies 2019 report consists of a wide range of defence & security-focused and commercially-focused providers, both in the hardware and software sub-markets. The report indicates the wide range of Small Satellite solutions available in the market and the involvement of established distributors and manufacturers in major military and commercial programmes across the world. Several of the 15 companies reported below achieve a significant share of their business in the market through their contractual relationships with the United States (US) government, also as foreign military sales (FMS) contractor. Nonetheless, most of them have embarked in a consistent internationalisation move to gain profit from opportunities in new markets and diversify risks connected to their dependence on North American and European customers.
Leading companies featured in the report are Space Systems Loral, Airbus Defense and Space and SST Ltd., Lockheed Martin Corporation, (Northrop Grumman) Orbital ATK, Boeing, (Thales Group) Thales Alenia Space, Mitsubishi Electric, Harris Corporation, Spire Global Inc. , Planet Labs Inc., Sierra Nevada Corporation , China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Dauria Aerospace Ltd., and ISS Reshetnevn.
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