The global electric propulsion systems market share is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.33% during the forecast period (2021–2030).
Electric propulsion (EP) is a type of space propulsion that uses electricity to accelerate a propellant using various electrical and/or magnetic techniques. Compared to conventional chemical thrusters, the EP thrusters' propulsive performance improved using electrical power. Electric propulsion, unlike chemical methods, requires extremely little bulk to accelerate a spaceship. The propellant is expelled up to twenty times quicker than in a traditional chemical thruster, resulting in a far more mass-efficient overall system.
Compared to chemical propulsion, electric propulsion has no energy limitations and is only restricted by the amount of electrical power available onboard the spaceship. EP is therefore well suited to low-thrust (micro and mill newton) long-duration applications onboard spacecraft. EP thrusters employ a variety of propellants, including rare gases (such as xenon or argon), liquid metals, and, in some situations, conventional propellants.
The global market has seen a tremendous increase in space activity. Several governments throughout the world have been investing large sums of money in different space initiatives, including satellite and spacecraft launches for plant observation, exploration, communications, weather monitoring, and military, among other things. More than 1,280 satellites will be deployed throughout the world in 2020.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, by the end of April 2021, more than 850 satellites will be launched. Global government spending was more than USD 70.9 billion in 2018, up more than 5.7 percent from the previous year. The total amount spent in 2015 was USD 62.5 billion.
The development of smaller CubeSats has enabled end-users to launch many satellites in a single flight, resulting in a rapidly expanding number of satellite launches. Previously, single-flight launches of either one or two satellites were the norm. ISRO plans to launch more than 100 satellites in a single mission in 2020. For countries that do not have their own space agency or launch capacity, this is a profitable possibility.
Satellites and spacecraft employ a variety of propulsion systems, including electric propulsion. The global market is also swamped with a variety of other systems. Chemical propulsion systems, bipropellant propulsion systems, unified propulsion systems, and monopropellant hydrazine propulsion systems, according to our research, are some of the most popular options on the market.
End-users are utilizing these systems in accordance with their applications' requirements. All of these technologies may be employed in a variety of applications, including small, medium, and large satellites and spacecraft. Electric propulsion, on the other hand, is fast growing in popularity due to its cost and operation advantages.
Satellites, for example, may assist broadcast information across large regions, enable instantaneous telecommunications, and create and send high-resolution photographs of specific sites of interest situated all over the world at the same time. Small satellites with faster development cycles and cheaper deployment costs have been developed thanks to the advent of miniaturized electronics and the increasing usage of smart manufacturing materials.
Due to the physical constraints of such spacecraft, the development and integration of strong yet compatible electric propulsion systems are encouraged to conduct orbital correction operations successfully. Several contracts for ongoing space missions are being granted. Strategic partnerships are formed to take advantage of shared competencies to respond to a changing market opportunity. For example, in October 2019, Accion was given USD 3.9 million as part of the Moon to Mars technology initiative.
Based on type, the global electric propulsion systems industry is categorized into gridded ion engine, hall effect thruster, high-efficiency multistage plasma thruster, pulsed plasma thruster, and others being the most common. HET is a form of the electric propulsion system in which a powerful magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of travel is employed instead of a grid system. Electrons are trapped in an azimuthal hall current that circulates the circle of an annular ceramic channel due to the magnetic field created. The electron then ionizes the onboard propellant, resulting in the formation of ionized plasma.
It is necessary to accelerate the ionized plasma using an applied electric field to generate thrust, which is accomplished by creating exist velocity of up to 65,000 miles per hour. The contact between the downstream edge of the channel and the accelerating plasma, on the other hand, erodes the surrounding magnetic system, which is principally responsible for plasma generation.
The global market for spacecraft and satellites is divided into two categories based on their application. The satellite part of the market accounts for a large portion of the total. By 2030, it is predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.68 %.
The global electric propulsion systems market share has remained unaffected by the Covid pandemic. In fact, the global market for space-related activities has seen a tremendous increase. In 2020, for example, more than 1280 satellites were launched, a record amount compared to prior years. More than 850 satellites have been launched as of April 2021. The pandemic, on the other hand, has influenced the operations of numerous small and mid-sized organizations involved in space research and development.
Due to a lack of finance and capital diversion, they will encounter financial difficulties. Organizations that rely on bigger enterprises for contracting will likely suffer short-term consequences since they will have to wait for payment. Furthermore, some countries have curtailed their space program funding and allocated the remainder to public welfare and disease management. This is unlikely to represent an immediate danger to the industry, but it may have a long-term impact on market growth.
Private space firms are predicted to have limited demand for electric propulsion systems in the global market. Still, they are more likely to recover robustly in 2021 as company operations improve, COVID-19 instances decline, and budget allocation to achieve impending mission targets. Small rockets, commercial satellite communications, and microelectronics, on the other hand, are predicted to have little influence.
Based on region, the market is divided into the following categories: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and South America, Middle East and Africa. On the other hand, North America is expected to dominate the global market due to a large number of space agencies in the region and a large amount of money spent on space-related activities.
North America is dominating the global electric propulsion systems market. In this regard, the United States has the largest market share. In 2017, the United States government spent more than USD 43 billion on space-related activities. With each passing year, the country's expenditure on such activities grows in proportion to the amount of money spent.
The reasons listed below are some of the most important ones that are driving the growth of the electric propulsion systems market in the region:
Europe is the second-largest market for electric propulsion systems after the United States. Manufacturers of electric propulsion systems have established a significant presence in the region. During the previous several years, the region has seen a substantial increase in the development of its system of governance. Until 2020, the area was heavily reliant on HET, GIE, and HEMPT technologies across a wide range of space operations. Artemis, SMART-1, GOCE, AlphaSat, Bepi Colombo, SmallGeo, NEOSat, and Electra are just a few of the space missions that have made use of electric propulsion systems, among many more.
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