“The recent spate of sizable satellite operator mergers “reflects that a shift from video to data use-cases is well underway,” says Brad Grady, a space industry analyst at Northern Sky Research. It shows that the industry previously “wasn’t well positioned to capture those opportunities efficiently,” he says. “Consolidation leads to enhanced market power and a.
Fewer independent satellite operators would make it harder for new operators to enter the market, according to analysts at Northern Sky Research. Future entrants would also likely struggle to offer the same capabilities as those that have joined forces. However, even though fewer operators means less competition to drive down prices, NSR analysts do not.
While demand for satellite-enabled wildfire services is growing among government customers, Northern Sky Research senior analyst Prachi Kawade says it will “remain a very small portion” of the broader market. Kawade says it mostly forms a small part of what it classifies as the “non-imagery” segment of the Earth observation industry. This segment includes capabilities.
The most predominant satellite manufacturing issue remains a shortage of semiconductors, says Northern Sky Research consultant Dallas Kasaboski, amid high demand from crypto and other markets outside of space. Pandemic-related supply restraints have also seen “launches delayed due to a lack of liquid oxygen, personnel, or other necessities,” he added.
Many satellite constellation developers are opting to build their own satellites. Over the last year, the number of constellations relying on in-house manufacturing jumped from 32 percent to 43 percent, Brad Grady, Northern Sky Research president and chief operating officer, said at the SmallSat Symposium. In many cases, firms decide to build their own satellites.