Global Satellite Electric Propulsion Market Overview
The global satellite electric propulsion market is estimated to reach $1,027.3 million in 2032 from $522.3 million in 2021, at a growth rate of 4.10% during the forecast period. The satellite electric propulsion technology companies have witnessed the demand from the growing commercial industry. The ecosystem of the satellite propulsion system market comprises system manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and end users.
Market Lifecycle Stage
Between 1957 and 2021, many governments and commercial organizations such as Ariane Space, Europe Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), started demonstrations for the new propulsion system for different satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). Since then, technology has evolved continually and transformed the entire space industry by developing unique products and systems.
Currently, many space agencies and commercial companies across the globe have been focusing on developing low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. This would drive the market for the propulsion system. Moreover, rising research and development activities to develop cost-efficient propulsion technologies and advancements in 3D printing technology for developing the components of satellite propulsion systems are other factors contributing to the growth of the LEO-focused satellite propulsion technology market. For instance, in June 2022, ThrustMe signed a contract with European Space Agency (ESA) to provide an NPT30-I2-1.5U electric propulsion system for the GOMX-5 mission under ESA general support technology programme (GSTP).
- The increasing number of smaller telecom satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) with the upcoming mega-constellation has placed a high demand for the production of electric propulsion during the forecast period.
- Furthermore, rising research and development activities for building low-cost and efficient propulsion systems for satellites.
Segmentation 1: by Mass Class
- Small Satellite (0-500 Kg)
- Medium Satellite (501-2,200 Kg)
- Large Satellite (Above 2,200 Kg)
The satellite electric propulsion market is expected to generate huge revenues from the above 2,200 Kg mass segment, followed by 0-500 Kg.
Segmentation 2: by Mission Type
- Earth Observation
- Technology Development
Based on mission type, the global satellite electric propulsion market is expected to be dominated by the communication segment during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing development of small satellite constellations for communication by commercial industries.
Segmentation 3: by Mission Application
- Station Keeping
- Orbit Raising
Based on mission application, the global satellite electric propulsion market is expected to be dominated by the station keeping segment during the forecast period. The satellite operators prefer more electric propulsion for station keeping irrespective of their nature of taking more time to maneuver.
Segmentation 4: by Component
- Power Control Units
- Power Distribution Units
- Pointing Mechanism
- Pressure Regulators
- Flow Controllers
- Mass Flow Sensors
- Pressure Transducers
- Particle Filters
- Propulsion Chamber/Nozzle
Segmentation 5: by Region
- North America - U.S.
- Europe - France, Germany, Russia, U.K., and Rest-of-Europe
- Asia-Pacific - China, India, and Rest-of-Asia-Pacific
- Rest-of-the-World - Middle East and Africa and South America
Europe accounted for the highest share of 81.82% in the global satellite electric propulsion market by value in 2021, owing to a significant number of companies based in the region.
Recent Developments in Global Satellite Electric Propulsion Market
- In July 2022, Thales Alenia Space received a contract of $2.4 million from European Space Agency (ESA) to develop Skimsat, a small satellite bus for very low Earth orbit (VLEO). The contract also includes developing electrical propulsion to air drag in VLEO.
- In June 2022, Safran signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space to supply its PPS 5000 plasma thruster for Thales’s Galileo satellites.
- In August 2021, Neutron Star Systems (NSS) and Bradford Space signed a cooperative agreement to enhance the orbital transport and maneuver capability. In this agreement, Bradford would combine NSS electric propulsion technology with its green monopropellant technology for its space logistics services.
- In April 2021, ThrustMe was selected by Norwegian Space Agency to provide NPT30-I2 electric propulsion for the NorSat-TD mission. The company would provide collision avoidance maneuver capabilities to the NorSat-TD satellite with its iodine propulsion system.
Demand - Drivers and Limitations
Following are the drivers for the global satellite electric propulsion market:
- Increasing Demand for Large Constellations for Smaller Telecom Satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
- Rising Research and Development Activities for Building Low-Cost and Efficient Propulsion Systems for Satellites
Following are the challenges for the global satellite electric propulsion market:
- Relatively Low Thrust Nature of Electric Propulsion Systems Impose Longer Timelines for Orbit-Transfer Risking Satellite Exposure to Radiation and Delaying Mission Timelines
- Integration of Electric Propulsion Results in a Growing Power Budget (Imposing the Need for More Onboard Power and the Addition of More Associated Power Electronics)
Following are the opportunities for the global satellite electric propulsion market:
- Satellite Manufacturers can Achieve Multiple Variants of the Satellite When Utilizing the All-Electric Option Owing to its Scalability Advantage
How can this report add value to an organization?
Product/Innovation Strategy: The product segment helps the reader understand the different types of satellite electric propulsion market available for deployment in the industries for space platforms and their potential globally. Moreover, the study provides the reader with a detailed understanding of the different satellite electric propulsion market by mass class (small satellite (0-500kg), medium satellite (501-2,200kg), and large satellite (2,200 kg and above)), by mission type (earth observation, communication, technology development, and others), by mission application (station keeping and orbit raising), and by component (power control units, power distribution units, pointing mechanism, pressure regulators, valves, flow controllers, mass flow sensors, pressure transducers, particle filters, tanks, plumbing/tuning, propulsion chamber/nozzle).
Growth/Marketing Strategy: The global satellite electric propulsion market has seen major development by key players operating in the market, such as business expansion activities, contracts, mergers, partnerships, collaborations, and joint ventures. The favored strategy for the companies has been contracted to strengthen their position in the global satellite electric propulsion market. For instance, in June 2022, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio (joint venture of Thales and Leonardo) signed a contract with the Italian Ministry of Defense for the development of SICRAL 3 satellite communications and propulsion system.
Competitive Strategy: Key players in the global satellite electric propulsion market analyzed and profiled in the study involve satellite electric propulsion manufacturers. Moreover, a detailed competitive benchmarking of the players operating in the global satellite electric propulsion market has been done to help the reader understand how players stack against each other, presenting a clear market landscape. Additionally, comprehensive competitive strategies such as contracts, partnerships, agreements, acquisitions, and collaborations will aid the reader in understanding the untapped revenue pockets in the market.
Key Market Players and Competition Synopsis
The companies that are profiled have been selected based on inputs gathered from primary experts and analysis of the company’s coverage, product portfolio, and market penetration.
The top segment players leading the market include established players of electric propulsion for satellites and constitute 80% of the presence in the market. Other players include start-up entities that account for approximately 20% of the presence in the market.
Some prominent names established in this market are:
- Accion Systems
- Aliena Pte Ltd.
- Busek, Co. Inc.
- CU Aerospace
- ENPULSION GmbH
- Moog Inc.
- Neutron Star Systems
- Northrop Grumman
- Orbion Space Technology
- Phase Four, Inc.
- Sitael S.p.A
- Thales Alenia Space