The Indian electric propulsion system market is valued at USD 20.75 million in 2023, and in 2032, it is projected to reach USD 125.27 million at a CAGR of 25.2% during the forecast period (2024-2032).
Electric Propulsion (EP) is a technique of space propulsion that employs electrical power to accelerate propellant via various electrical and/or magnetic mechanisms. The efficacy of EP thrusters is superior to that of conventional chemical thrusters. They require less mass for spacecraft acceleration and can expel propellants up to twenty times faster than conventional chemical thrusters. This results in a system that utilizes mass more efficiently.
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The space industry is experiencing a significant upswing in space activities, with countries dedicating substantial funds to diverse space programs. These programs encompass the launch of satellites and spacecraft for various purposes, including plant observation, exploration, communication, weather monitoring, and defense. The rise in satellite launches can largely be attributed to advancements in smaller CubeSats, which allow for the deployment of a greater number of satellites in a single mission. Previously, only a limited number of satellites were launched per flight, but in 2020, ISRO achieved an impressive milestone by successfully launching over 100 satellites in a single mission. This presents an appealing opportunity for countries lacking space agencies and launch capabilities.
Electric propulsion is widely used in satellites and spacecraft, but it is not the only option available. The market provides various alternative propulsion systems for these applications. Notable alternatives include chemical propulsion systems, bipropellant propulsion systems, unified propulsion systems, and monopropellant hydrazine propulsion systems. The choice of a propulsion system depends on the application's specific requirements, and these technologies can be utilized across satellites and spacecraft of different sizes. However, there is an increasing demand for electric propulsion due to its cost-effectiveness and operational advantages.
Satellites and spacecraft have multiple propulsion system options, and electric propulsion is not the sole option. The market provides various alternatives, such as chemical propulsion systems, bipropellant propulsion systems, unified propulsion systems, and monopropellant hydrazine propulsion systems. The choice of a propulsion system depends on the application's specific needs. These technologies are suitable for satellites and spacecraft of various sizes. However, the demand for electric propulsion is growing rapidly due to its cost-effectiveness and operational benefits.
In the Indian market, the electric propulsion system sector is experiencing significant growth. Increased investments in space research and satellite missions and the government's focus on space exploration drive the demand for electric propulsion systems. This market expansion is expected to continue in the coming years.
The Indian electric propulsion system market is segmented into type, techiques, power ratings, and applications.
Based on type, the market is categorised into gridded ion engine (GIE), hall effect thruster (HET), high efficiency multistage plasma thruster (HEMPT), pulsed plasma thruster (PPT), magneto plasma dynamic (MPD), and others.
HET is the most significant contributor to the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 25.0 % over the forecast period. HET is an electric propulsion system in which a perpendicular magnetic field rather than a grid system is utilized. The generated magnetic field captures electrons in an azimuthal Hall current traveling around the circumference of an annular ceramic channel. The electron then ionizes the onboard propellant, resulting in ionized plasma.
By Power Rating, the market is segmented into low power electric propulsion systems, medium power electric propulsion systems, and high power electric propulsion systems. Low power electric propulsion systems are typically used in satellites and small spacecraft. Medium power electric propulsion systems are commonly emloyed in a variety of space applications, whereas high power electric propulsion systems are used in heavy-duty space missions and exploration.
By application, it is further segmented into satellite based and marine based.
The satellite is the most significant contributor to the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 24.1% over the forecast period. A satellite that uses a hybrid or all-electric propulsion technology is said to be an electric propulsion satellite. Electrical propulsion is space propulsion that employs various electrical and electromagnetic techniques to speed up or spark propellant combustion. Electrothermal propulsion, electrostatic propulsion, and electromagnetic propulsion are all propulsion used in satellites. Its usefulness determines the range of space-based uses to which it can be put, from earth observation to navigation and communications to astronomy, exploration, and even environmental research.