Commercial Satellite Imaging Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)
The commercial satellite imaging market was valued at USD 3.09 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach USD 5.75 billion by 2025, witnessing a CAGR of 11.05% during the forecast period (2020 2025). Satellite imaging has surpassed the use of terrestrial and aerial imagery by overcoming the limitation of geographical reaches, owing to its comprehensive coverage of the world and quick delivery of image data.
The significance of satellite imaging has prompted the governmental organizations to support its growth. Various governments have been supporting the firms in the market studied, by investing in satellite imaging technologies. The Australian government invested in satellite technologies, and it spent USD 260 million for the development of satellite technology and creation of jobs in Australia.
These factors have been encouraging the companies to develop improved solutions in the market studied. For instance, BlackSky, a geospatial intelligence company announced that it secured a USD 50 million loan from the Intelsat satellite powerhouse, primarily to boost its nascent earth observation constellation. The company also announced its plans to use this capital to build on its existing assets and alliances. The company primarily aims to incorporate access to Intelsat’s communications infrastructure to deliver its imaging and intelligence services across the world.
Key Market Trends
Military and Defense is Expected to Account for the Largest Share
The largest enduser vertical has been the military and defense applications of commercial satellite imaging. The growth of the segment can be attributed to security and surveillance applications, which have been the core functionalities of any defense organization. In most cases, governments have their satellites orbiting the Earth, performing several operations. However, they usually have limited access to the international airspace for security concerns of other countries. In some extreme cases, the governments can exercise shutter control policies, which may require foreign satellites in territorial airspace to shut down the satellite’s imaging equipment.
Growing defense and military budgets in most of the countries, to develop security programs, are expected to contribute to the growth of the market studied. For instance, according to the SIPRI, military spending in the United States was USD 717 billion in 2019. Moreover, in the same year, China's military spending amounted to an estimated USD 177 billion. Considering the growing security concerns, several countries have been launching satellites to strengthen their defense operation, with the help of upgraded technology. Thus, the growth of the market studied is expected to be fueled by an upsurge in the number of satellite launches in several countries. The defense sector also uses commercial satellite imaging for geospatial mapping.
The Earth observation satellites have been gaining increasing popularity in defense and security missions, especially when planning operations and mission deployments remotely. Once considered a tool designed to offer strategic threat assessments, currently, imagery satellites have been providing an exceptional level of tactical support to decision makers and the modern soldier.
The North American Region is Expected to Account for the Largest Share
North America is expected to dominate the market studied during the forecast period, due to the highest number of researches and investments in the market studied, the presence of sophisticated infrastructure to undertake space programs, and the earliest and highest adoption of commercial satellite imaging across various industries in the region.
Due to the strong support from the federal government regarding grants to academic institutions and companies, in order to develop highly advanced satellite imaging devices, the market studied is estimated to expand further in the region. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the United States has the largest number of satellites in orbit i.e. 901 as of March 2019, followed by China with 299 satellites.
Currently, the US government has also been revamping its existing commercial space regulations that need to be streamlined. This is expected to encourage commercial space activities in the region. For instance, SpaceX launched an earthimaging satellite and its broadband demos that carried a radarimaging satellite for Spain’s Hisdesat Servicios Estrategicos SA. The satellite is expected collect information, including ship tracking and weather data, for the government and commercial customers.
The market studied is moderately fragmented, with moderate competitive rivalry. The companies operating in the market studied are players engaged in providing satellitebased imagery or solutions based on the imagery. Competition among players in the market studied has been increasing, due to the competitive strategies adopted by them. These companies strive to develop better features in their solutions, in order to gain a competitive edge in the market studied.
February 2020 The Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre partnered with L3Harris Technologies for a multimilliondollar contract to develop a software platform, which may make it easier for analysts to use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify objects in large data sets, thus, addressing urgent defence need for automation to analyse large geospatial data sets.
July 2019 DigitalGlobe developed OpenStreetMap imagery endpoints, which may enable the users of OpenStreetMap to see uniformity in content between the previous and new layers. The imagery is expected be more recent and more frequently updated by using the latest Maxar mosaic content. The improved production processes (bundle block adjustment, atmospheric compensation, continuous updates, etc.) are expected to benefit OSM contributors.
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