Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
As Countries Fight to Send their Satellites Into Space, Surveillance Becomes an Important Capability to Have. Market Poised for a4% Growth Run by 2027
The global market for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is expected to reach US$1.5 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 4% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027 supported by the fact that space is the final frontier in enhancing a country's national power & prestige. The U.S. and a number of other developed countries rely heavily on space assets for their national security and economic capabilities. However, these assets are highly vulnerable to attacks as they move in conventional orbits with little defenses, offering an appealing target for adversaries. Any attack on space assets holds potential to degrade, delay and even defeat the ability of a country to project its military force, especially in asymmetric conflicts. The potential fulfillment of these objectives may encourage an adversary to pursue a more aggressive stance. These factors create the pressing need for options that make attacks on space systems prohibitively expensive. The scenario presents huge incentives for sophisticated SSA for solid deterrence. SSA holds a pivotal role in achieving space deterrence while enabling the US to maintain strategic stability. Sophisticated SSA capabilities along with enhanced attribution techniques are capable of reducing overall vulnerability of spacecrafts.
Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is an intriguing concept that revolves around monitoring and understanding the near-Earth environment, encompassing existing and predictive knowledge regarding natural and man-made objects within the Earth's orbit. The ability holds a pivotal role in understanding space conditions, events, activities, threats, natural or man-made debris, and intentional or unintentional attacks on space assets such as satellites. The near-Earth space extends to the Earth-radius of more than 100,000km to cover all man-made objects in the orbit. The information assists planners, operators, decision makers and commanders in gaining and maintaining space superiority through conflicts while thwarting attacks and potential collisions. SSA encompasses knowledge pertaining the space and ground-based capabilities. SSA covers space traffic management and space safety programs that include services intended to assist satellite operators in preventing physical or operational conflicts. SSA holds a crucial importance for space safety owing to continuous monitoring of the presence of natural or man-made hazards like debris. SSA services document real-time information of space components while alerting satellite operators of potential accidents. In addition, SSA tracks space bodies that may interfere with a particular orbit while predicting their positions in advance for preventing collisions with satellites.
SSA is segregated into three service segments including space surveillance & tracking of various objects within the Earth's orbit, space weather, and near-Earth objects. Traditionally, the SSA domain was ruled by the US that started sharing data with foreign and commercial users eventually for avoiding collisions. In the recent years, countries including Europe and Russia have started developing and expanding independent SSA platforms. The arena has also witnessed the influx of various commercial players that offer SSA services and solutions to governments and satellite operators. As the number of space assets in the form of satellites increase, the risk of man-made large orbital debris increases. In the year 2019 alone, 385 smallsats were launched & over 1,000 smallsat launches per year is forecasted going forwards. In addition to polluting space, space junk it poses risks for safely navigating spacecraft. In the year 2010 alone, space debris increased by over 75%, posing huge collision risks for spacecraft operating in low earth atmosphere. Emerging space nations in the world are attractive markets for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) with robust potential for medium & long-term growth. The continuous launch of in-orbit operations and new satellites over the past several years has made the space crowded, a trend that is unlikely to abate in the coming years. Space congestion is also attributed to continuing globalization of the aerospace industry and strong focus of nations on independent space programs. The market growth is also propelled by increasing attention on national security and the resulting focus on the space. Various nations are developing space-based surveillance and intelligence to improve national security. These efforts involve the use of satellites for data communication. Countries including the US, Japan and China are making notable investments in SSA to protect their satellites engaged in offering important information. While Japan invested US$17 million in SSA initiatives in 2018, various developing nations like Australia are looking forward to spend US$1 billion by 2035. These initiatives are anticipated to provide a significant boost to the SSA market in the coming years.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
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