Tiny satellites are big business — and are due to get even bigger.
The nanosatellite and microsatellite market will produce almost three times as much revenue by 2020, growing to $2.52 billion from $889.8 million in 2015, according to a new report from U.K. research consultancy Markets and Markets.
Companies expected to reap benefits from the small-sat boom include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Planet Labs and Sierra Nevada Corp.
Lower costs and technological advances will drive the trend toward an increased use of nanosatellites and microsatellites by an expanding universe of businesses and institutions, according to the forecast. Commercial enterprise applications for real-time, high-res Earth images are among the most dramatic areas of increase small-sat usage identified in the report.
The U.S. is projected as the biggest market for nanosatellites and microsatellites, while the commercial sector is expected to drive the gains in segment revenue.
“The nanosatellite and microsatellite market offers tremendous upcoming opportunities for growth, mainly due to increase in demand for satellite-based business applications across verticals and partnerships among satellite manufactures and spacecraft agencies,” Markets and Markets said.