Since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, the satellite industry has evolved tremendously and has witnessed innumerable developments. Advancements in satellite technology have given birth to a global industry for space electronics and that has transformed the entire aerospace industry with the introduction of path-breaking technologies and inventions.
One of the key segments of the space electronics industry is electronic components, which are a crucial part of satellites, launch vehicles, and deep space probes. The latest advancements in the space electronics industry include the development of radiation-hardened or radiation tolerant, small, light-weight, and power-efficient components. Additionally, the introduction of microcontrollers (MCUs) has also played a critical role in the miniaturization of the components, which consequently resulted in electronic circuits becoming small in size and less complex. These developments in electronic components led to the development of small satellites, which today find their use across varied applications and are dominating the space industry.
Owing to the increasing requirement of such electronic components, eminent research institutes such as NASA, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) along with notable companies are investing in developing and manufacturing components with commercially off-the-shelf (COTS). For instance, NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory gave a contract for developing radiation-hardened high-performance spaceflight computing (HPSC) processor chiplet program to the Boeing Company solid-state electronics development segment in 2018. The contract is worth $25.9 million.
The key benefits of COTS electronic components include their cost-effectiveness in terms of testing and validation of components owing to the use of techniques such as modified circuit, real-time supporting software, cache validation, and scrubbing techniques.
BIS Research recently published a market intelligence report titled “Global Space Electronics Market – Analysis and Forecast (2019-2024),” analyzing the growth of the emerging space electronics market. As per the report, the space electronics market is projected to reach $1.72 billion by 2024 from $1.27 billion in 2018, registering a compound annual growth rate of 5.22% during the forecast period, 2019-2024.
As per BIS Research analysis, the market is well established in countries such as the U.S., France, China, and Japan while in countries such as India, Italy, and Germany, the market is still in its nascent phase. Further, in terms of region, the North American region is anticipated to maintain its dominance in the space electronics market during the forecast period by acquiring the largest market share followed by Europe and APAC region.
BAE Systems, Cobham plc, Honeywell International, Texas Instruments Inc., The Boeing Company, Xilinx Inc., Microsemi Corporation, STMicroelectronics N.V, and Solid State Devices Inc. are some of the leading companies in the space electronics market. From launching advanced and innovative products to business expansions and collaborations, these companies are adopting several organic and inorganic strategies to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Innovations in technology, the launch of new products by market players, growth of small satellites, and ongoing activities for deep space missions are some of the developments and opportunities which are expected to lead the space electronics market in the future.