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2800 microsatellites to launch over next five years: SpaceWorks

More than 2,800 nano/microsatellites will require launch over the next five years, according to the annual nanosatellite and microsatellite market forecast by SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI).

Coming off an excellent performance in 2018, SpaceWorks analysts project between 294 – 393 nano/microsatellites (1 – 50 kg) will launch globally in 2019, an 18% increase over last year. Of the 262 spacecraft SpaceWorks predicted to launch in 2018, 253 actually launched.

“SpaceWorks showed unprecedented accuracy in last year’s forecast, with our prediction coming within 5% of actual nano/microsatellites launched,” stated Caleb Williams, Lead Economic Analyst at SpaceWorks.

“Changes to our forecasting methodology, in combination with greater launch consistency and better execution on the part of small satellite operators contributed to our ability to accurately forecast market growth.”

2019 projections remain strong and have been updated to reflect the advancements of dedicated small satellite launch vehicles, changing attitudes of civil and military operators, and the rapid progress of commercial satellite IoT ventures.

SpaceWorks analysts commented that there is more confidence in the small satellite market as operators begin promising less and delivering more.

“The rapid progress of operators focusing on IoT applications is expected to continue and communications applications are expected to quadruple their market share over the next five years,” commented Stephanie DelPozzo, SpaceWorks Economic Analyst.

“Overall, the maturing capabilities of small satellites are expected to open additional opportunities for growth and keep investors interested in the market during the near-term.”

The Nano/Microsatellite Market Forecast, 9th Edition by SpaceWorks shows that annual nano/microsatellite launches have grown by over 150% in the last five  years. Analysis of development trends by operator type show that the commercial sector continues to rule the industry, even in the face of re-surging interest from civil operators.

Analysis of trends by application indicate that Communications will make up over 20% of nano/microsatellites launched in the next five years, decreasing the Earth Observation and Remote Sensing sector’s dominant position by as much as 15% market share.

SpaceWorks maintains a broad Launch Demand Database (LDDB) to track all historical and future satellites and their characteristics, which serves as the basis for SpaceWorks satellite market assessments. Currently, SpaceWorks is tracking 75+ planned constellations and 250+ unique nano/microsatellites in various stages of development that are expected to launch within the next 5 years.