When you are looking to enter a specific market segment, it’s useful to observe some of the key trends playing out into the market, to make some hypotheses about which demand spaces may open up in future. So how are some trends affecting terrestrial space-enabled markets? And how can we examine  

It is observed that there has been a shift in the trends in usage of satellite data and services towards a multimodal approach, creating integrated applications), ESA’s Integrated Applications programme emphasises the importance of the same. Newer applications, products and services were drawn using multiple sources of satellite data, networks and also integration of satellite and ground-based resources resulting in compelling products and services. These have resulted in increased interest from new and aspiring investors in the global space economy. The Figure below shows the potential of integrated applications. The numbers depict the percentage contribution to the space economy of each of market segments.

Space Applications. Credit: ESA

So what does all of this mean? Here are some examples:

  • Large farming operators could buy space products and services coupled with drone-based information to have detailed reports and analysis of crop health.
  • Meteorologists are using Global Positioning System (GPS) radio waves to better understand weather patterns.
  • Space-based imagery, as well as GPS coupled with on board sensors, are being used for the development of unmanned vehicles.
  • App-based taxi services using GPS and satellite imagery are now widely available even in developing countries and more and more companies are rolling out services in these markets.

These factors are set to become game-changers driving more companies into this industry and some of the newly ignited low Earth orbit (LEO)-based broadband communications satellite constellations are expected to fuel competition to the terrestrial broadband service providers.

Another of the trends that can be seen, just by looking at the figure above, is an intense increase in small satellites in orbit. Miniaturization of electronic devices, the development composite materials, and better engineering are making it easier to build smaller satellites. This in turn has led to the launch of dozens of such satellites into space in a single launch vehicle. All these factors are allowing small companies and governments to use these small satellites for precision agriculture, oil spill monitoring or, surveillance as some of the examples we described above.

That is why before you aim for the stars, it is important to figure out the changing trends accurately and position your products and services into the right segment and market at the right time.

Some key trends to observe concern both market growth or new market segments opening up, as well as technology development that may trigger new opportunities for your space startup to exploit.

Current Market Growth
  • Growth of satellite radio and consumer satellite broadband services.
  • Growth in launching services.
  • Increased demand for ground equipment, especially GNSS, stand-alone navigation devices and GNSS chipsets (aka chipmunks) for mobile devices, traffic information systems, aircraft avionics, surveying and rail.
  • Continued and growing interest in inexpensive very small satellites like the CubeSats.
New Market Segments
  • Increased mobile satellite services including maritime, airborne, and other mobility services.
  • Expansion of downstream space applications.
  • Globalization of space industry and space value chains.
Technology Developments
  • Successful business intelligence products from satellite imagery.
  • Enhanced Earth observation services with new competitors and new partnerships.
  • Miniaturization of electronic devices.
  • development composite materials.

We hope this section on trends and driving forces gave you an overview and food for thought for your startup!

Which are the most promising market trends according to you?

Posted by Shasidhar Reddy