Research and Application News
Investment Continues To Flow Into Remote Sensing SmallSat Industry Even As Competition Intensifies
08 October 2019
Small satellites are playing an increasingly important role in the commercial market. Since 2013, new companies have introduced business models that use large fleets of small satellites to conduct Earth observation. Traditional remote sensing satellites like DigitalGlobe's WorldView-4 can cost upward of $450 million each. On the other hand, small remote sensing satellites can be built and launched for under $1 million.
While the resolution of these smaller satellites is lower than that of their larger relatives, their low prices allow them to be deployed in large networks, increasing global coverage. The low price also allows companies to take more risks because the loss of a small satellite is not as financially devastating as the loss of a large, expensive satellite. Finally, the shorter lifespan of each satellite means companies can constantly upgrade their fleets with the latest technology.
Source: Defense & Security Monitor
Image credit: Dynetics - Artist's rendition of Dynetics Gunsmoke-L Satellites.