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— BEAM - Euroconsult
Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2018, World Market Survey.

Euroconsult, a leading international research and analyst firm that specializes in the satellite sector, has just released their Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2018, World Market Survey.

This informative report estimates 1,185 satellites will be built and launched for the period 2009-2018, an increase of about 50 percent compared to the previous decade (1999-2008). Market revenues generated from the manufacturing and launch of these satellites are forecast to grow by the same rate, reaching $178 billion for the period 2009-2018.

Both the government and commercial sectors will contribute to this market growth, albeit unequally, said Rachel Villain, the editor of the survey and the Director for Space & Communications at Euroconsult. “The ongoing global economic crisis will have a limited impact on the industry. Governments around the world remain committed to space technology development and only a small number of commercial satellite operators with business or financing issues will be affected by the downturn.”

Governments drive future satellite demand ‑ particularly for civilian applications. Civilian and military government agencies will launch a combined 770 satellites in the next decade, a 55 percent unit increase over the past ten years. Two-thirds of these satellites will be for civilian or dual use.

Civil satellites represent a higher proportion of government satellites than the previous decade. While ongoing defense and security concerns create opportunities for dedicated satellites, or hosted payloads on commercial satellites, demand for proprietary military satellite systems remains concentrated in a limited number of countries.

Market growth will be derived from three distinct groups of countries (see the table below). Together, they will procure satellites for operational missions in...
  • Earth observation
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Communications
  • Developing space science & exploration missions as well as technology demonstration satellites

Earth observation is emerging as the largest application, with a total of 230 satellites over the next decade as more governments order and launch satellites through national space agencies, multilateral agencies, and public-private partnerships for both civilian and military uses of satellite imagery.

At $116 billion over the decade, the government market is almost double the commercial market but it is largely closed to non-domestic suppliers. Most of that market is for satellites whose final destinations are low Earth orbits (41 percent) with higher altitude orbits (GEO, MEO, HEO and deep space) making up the difference.

Commercial satellites are still primarily for communications and broadcasting services from the geostationary orbit. The commercial satellite market is forecast to grow by over one third in both number of satellites and market value. This growth reflects two distinct trends:
  • The maturity of the commercial geostationary communications satellite industry (GEO comsat). This dominant segment of the commercial market is now driven by replacement of in-orbit satellites with fewer new entrants, resulting in cyclical investments for such systems (ex. nearly three quarters of the 88 satellites ordered in the past four years are for the replacement or expansion of existing orbital slots). Euroconsult forecasts 235 satellites to be launched over 2009-2018 with a market value of $52 billion. The peak of the cycle will occur early in the decade with over 30 units to be launched per year, declining to fewer than 20 units per year at the end of the period.
  • Growth in commercial satellite services outside the geostationary orbit, with a total of 180 satellites to be built and launched during the period, up from 104 the previous decade. These are communications satellites being launched into low Earth orbit for the second generation of Orbcomm, Globalstar and Iridium and into medium Earth orbit (O3b) in addition to optical and radar Earth observation satellites launched into low Earth orbit (e.g. Infoterra, GeoEye, RapidEye). According to Euroconsult, at $9.5 billion, the market value generated by these satellites will jump 73 percent, though will remain small compared to GEO comsat.

Report Profile
The 12th edition of Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2018, World Market Survey is the landmark study for all industry actors concerned with satellite systems and their launches. The report provides the information that’s key to understanding the global space market — present and future. The report includes exclusive 10-year forecasts, including breakdown by customer and by orbit number and mass of satellites to be manufactured and launched and market value.

The report offers a review of strategic issues from both supply (industry) and demand (customers), perspectives and an analysis of leading actors’ performance. It also includes a comprehensive and detailed demand database for commercial and government satellites including: application, launch date, satellite platform, manufacturer, launch provider.