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Based on Service, Robotic servicing systems can be used in the lower Earth orbit (LEO) and the geostationary orbit (GEO). In the LEO, robotic servicing systems can be used to capture, refuel, repair, and upgrade satellites, while in the GEO, they can be used to provide services such as relocation, refueling, and repair.
One of the key advantages of robotic servicing systems is their ability to perform tasks that would be difficult or impossible for human operators to complete. For example, robots can perform repairs in environments that are too dangerous or difficult for humans to access, such as on the exterior of a satellite in the harsh conditions of space. Additionally, robots can operate continuously without the need for rest or sleep, making them ideal for tasks that require long periods of sustained effort.
Several companies and organizations are currently developing robotic servicing capabilities, including SpaceLogistics (US) and Maxar Technologies (US). These companies are working on developing advanced technologies such as robotic arms, capture mechanisms, and refueling systems to make servicing satellites in orbit safer, more efficient, and more effective.
Based on Type, Small satellites is expected to have the highest share in 2023. On-orbit satellite servicing is particularly important for small satellites due to their unique design and operational constraints. Small satellites are often designed with limited fuel reserves, which can limit their operational lifespan and ability to perform complex maneuvers. In addition, small satellites may lack redundancy in critical systems, making them more vulnerable to system failures.
On-orbit satellite servicing can address many of these issues by providing small satellites with new fuel reserves, replacing failed components, and upgrading their capabilities. For example, it can enable small satellites to perform complex maneuvers, such as station-keeping or orbit changes, which would otherwise be impossible due to limited fuel reserves. On-orbit servicing can also provide a means for small satellite operators to address unexpected failures or anomalies that may occur during the satellite’s operational lifespan.
In addition to the technical challenges associated with the on-orbit servicing of small satellites, there are also regulatory and business challenges that must be addressed. Small satellites often operate under different regulatory frameworks than larger satellites and may be subject to different licensing and operational requirements. This can create barriers to the development and operation of on-orbit servicing capabilities for small satellites.
Based on orbit, the low earth orbit (LEO) segment is expected to have the highest CAGR during the forecast period from 2023 to 2030. In the case of LEO, on-orbit satellite servicing is becoming important as more and more satellites are being launched into this orbit. The advantage of LEO is that it is relatively close to the Earth’s surface, which makes it easier and less expensive to launch satellites into this orbit. However, the LEO is also a highly congested area, with many satellites in close proximity to each other, which increases the risk of collisions and other types of accidents.
On-orbit satellite servicing can help mitigate some of these risks by allowing for the repair and maintenance of satellites that are experiencing technical problems or malfunctions. It can also help extend the lifespan of satellites that are running out of fuel or are otherwise nearing the end of their operational lives.
There are several companies and organizations that are currently developing on-orbit satellite servicing capabilities for LEO, including Northrop Grumman, SpaceLogistics (US), and Astroscale (Japan). These companies are developing technologies such as robotic arms, refueling systems, and capture mechanisms to enable the safe and efficient servicing of satellites in the LEO.
Based on region, the North America is the largest market for on-orbit satellite servicing. The growing demand for commercial communication and imaging satellites, increasing deployment of small satellites, and rising space exploration missions are the key factors expected to drive the on-orbit satellite servicing market in North America. This regional market analysis covers the US and Canada.
North America is expected to be a major market for on-orbit satellite servicing due to its advanced space industry and significant investment in satellite technology.
The US is a major market, with companies such as SpaceLogistics LLC and Maxar Technologies offering on-orbit satellite servicing solutions. In addition, NASA has been actively exploring on-orbit servicing technology through its Restore-L mission, which aims to refuel a government satellite in orbit.
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