Traditional barriers to access to space have vanished. Today, more and more startups, corporations and governments have the ability to have their own satellites.
FREMONT, CA: The space industry itself is transforming. Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, space activities have been driven by creativity. But it is now booming due to the insertion of commercial consumer demands, which gained traction at the end of the Cold War. As a result, the course of this sector has shifted to harness new market opportunities that have reached a pivotal point in the last decade. Although we are witnessing a smaller scale of nationalized programs and more private initiatives in this field, there are many emerging factors, such as lower material costs, AI, and others, that are anchoring it to new heights.
Key Space Technology Trends
Increased Use of Small Satellites: Traditional barriers to access to space have vanished. Today, more and more startups, corporations and governments have the ability to have their own satellites. Companies such as Earth, Hawkeye360, Spire, Capella Space, BlackSky, and Swarm have successfully raised cash, launched satellites. Although their business models differ, from monitoring radio signals and collecting radar data to imaging every inch of the Planet to interacting with Internet-of-thing devices, their numbers will triple in the coming years.
Space Sustainability: Space debris has long been an area of concern, so resolving the issue of sustainability in space is important. Space is actually inhabited by a rising amount of debris coming from old satellites, launch vehicle stages, and crashes, and so on. It's clear that cleaning up this mess is difficult. Maintaining space ecology would therefore be given the highest priority. Various companies and international relations are already working on this issue. Swiss startup ClearSpace aims to join a European consortium aimed at catching the Vespa payload adapter in 2025 and dragging it into Earth's atmosphere.
The retrieval of decommissioned satellites in space will also require a recycle and reuse policy. For example, Northrop Grumman's Mission Extension Vehicle-1 was introduced in October 2019 and is scheduled to dock with Intelsat-901 in early 2020 to extend the life of satellite communications.
Commoditization of Space Data: Electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar and radio frequency data would be combined with information from airborne as well as terrestrial sensors and social network feeds to develop new data products for customers. And the information gathered in space will continue to grow in value over the next decade as length, velocity, variety, and veracity increase. And these data will be instrumental in defining and driving new market opportunities through various industries. In addition, CubeSats will be deployed for high data processing and transmission capabilities. To accomplish this, CubeSats requires Ku-Band and Ka-Band transmitters with a rate of several hundred megabits (Mb) per second or gigabits per second (Gb).