115 satellites to launch a year

November 4, 2013 10.01 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Dish for satellite TVAround 1,150 new satellites are slated to launch over the next decade, according to new research published by Euroconsult.

The World Market Survey says an average of 115 satellites will be launched each year between 2013 and 2022. Numbers are weighted towards the beginning of the period with 140 satellites per year expected to launch between 2015 and 2017, decelerating to 100 units afterwards.

Many will be so-called Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, rather than the Geostationary Orbit (GEO) craft used for communication satellites.

According to Rachel Villain, Principal Advisor at Euroconsult, “More and more governments are acquiring operational telecommunications and Earth observation (EO) satellite systems to support socio-economic development in their country and to sell satellite services abroad.”

Governments worldwide will be responsible for two-thirds of the 1,150 satellites to be launched and for nearly three-quarters of the $236 billion expected in revenues.

Commercial satellites to replace existing capacities, both in geostationary and low Earth orbits

In the commercial space sector, three-quarters of recent satellite orders will be launched to replace aged satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO). Only four of the 65 commercial GEO comsats in construction today will be all electric. However, electric propulsion is likely to be a game changer for GEO satellites during the decade as it becomes more cost-effective because of more launch solutions, new thruster technology and more flight heritage.