The SatCom industry is continuously evolving and improving. New satellites, improved technology, and new markets are driving innovation and change. Some of the major trends in the SatCom industry include larger numbers of smaller satellites. The value of the industry is in the use of small satellites because better value comes with smaller sizes.
1. SmallSats Are Getting Big
In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in small satellites, which are spacecraft that have a much smaller footprint than traditional spacecraft. They are much cheaper to build, launch, and operate than traditional spacecraft, which has led to a new wave of space exploration. As a result, the future of the SatCom industry is for satellites to get smaller and more numerous. Smallsats have experienced a dramatic increase in mass and volume, as well as the number of competitors in both the civilian and space-exploration sectors. This trend has been spurred by an increase in the number of smallsats launched and the advancement of small-satellite technology.
2. Low Earth Orbit Reduces Latency
Low earth orbit reduces latency because the transmission time is generally shorter. This means that you can send instant messages, emails, and other messages without waiting a long time for them to be delivered. It also reduces travel time to geostationary orbit, which is much further away from the Earth than low Earth orbit and provides thousands of times less connectivity to the ground. As a result of lower latency, lower cost, and easier reach, lower orbit satellites make it possible to deliver low-latency, high-quality imagery to consumers. Lower-orbit satellites also create the potential for new types of high-resolution satellite imagery, such as 3D imagery. By this, they differentiate themselves from traditional satellites.
3. Reusable Rockets Increase Deployment
Increasing the reusability of rockets has been a long-standing goal of rocket development. Reusable rockets have been pursued since the Space Age began but have remained elusive due to a variety of technical challenges as well as economic ones. A reusable rocket is a rocket that can be returned after its mission is complete, to be refurbished, and returned to service. Reusable rockets leverage their construction costs over multiple flights to reduce launch costs, create pollution, and the risk of launching systems that often reenter Earth’s atmosphere out of control. These reductions in cost have increased the development of new satellites by making launches more economical. They are a benefit to both launch providers and satellite owners.
4. 5G Data Systems Receive Support from SmallSats
SmallSats are also supporting 5G build-out projects throughout the world to help bring 5G services to rural areas and smaller towns. SmallSats helps 5G data systems to provide a global 5G infrastructure, enabling users to access the internet on the go, using virtually unlimited data speeds and ensuring high data reliability. Today, 5G networks are at the frontlines of a fight to bring us the next generation of connectivity and provide the next generation of wireless services. Small satellites are a promising technology for 5G communications because they can be deployed quickly and cheaply without having to wait for rockets or weather conditions.
5. Internet of Things Access Expands Because of SmallSats
The internet of things is a network of devices that are interconnected through the internet and can communicate with each other. The Internet of things was originally conceived of as a way to allow information to be collected and analyzed in real-time. SmallSats can help expand the reach of the Internet of things by being more economical and spread over a larger area of the Earth’s surface. Because smallsats supply coverage to areas that traditional large satellites cannot, the internet of things is spreading to all corners of the globe. The number of small satellites in orbit is increasing at a rapid rate and making these internet connections even easier.
These trends in the satellite communication industry are mainly positive. The general direction is bringing Internet access to more and more people around the world. SmallSats are a natural result of miniaturization and the reduction of launch costs that result from reusable rockets. If used right this technology can produce great benefits, so it is important to make sure that these trends lead in that direction.