tech track papers

Categories: 2017, The Business of Space Systems

The Space Industry: High Tech at Last? A Market-based Interpretation

Despite popular perception of the space industry as ‘high tech’, many commercial satellites are sent into orbit with years- or even decades-old technology. The significant CAPEX involved in building and launching a satellite requires pursuit of a design that will ensure returns and minimize the likelihood of premature satellite loss – a practice that, combined with stable end-user markets, has long meant risk aversion and use of only highly proven technology. Yet, recent ROMs, RFPs, and firm contracts have highlighted a shift in this rigid modus operandi towards greater flexibility in design, manufacturing, and launch approaches. Emerging trends show that technology is increasingly important during each of these three phases to close the business case of a new venture; market forces such as heightened competition and rapidly evolving customer demand are driving operators to more closely consider the technical aspects of their satellites, adopting new components and processes that best suit the unique business opportunity targeted by each satellite.

This paper and talk analyze what market trends tell us about satellite operators’ changing perceptions of the role of technology in their business, expanding to what this means for the industry at-large. Growing interest in digital channelizers, ultra-high throughput capabilities, shorter lifetimes, and reusable launch, among other nascent ideas, are driving an evolution in the satellite communications industry and the manufacturers and launch service providers that make it possible. The utilization of newer and more advanced technology to drive market growth and competitive advantage will have a greater role in market dynamics moving forward.


Author: Carolyn Belle, Blaine Curcio, Claude Rousseau
Topic: The Business of Space Systems

  • The Space Industry: High Tech at Last? A Market-based Interpretation

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