The South American electric propulsion system market size in 2023 is estimated to be USD 93.39 million, and in 2032, it is projected to reach USD 341.63 million at a CAGR of 17.6% during the forecast period (2024-2032).
Electric Propulsion (EP) is a space propulsion technique that uses electrical power to accelerate propellant using various electrical and/or magnetic mechanisms. Compared to conventional chemical thrusters, EP thrusters deliver superior propulsion performance. They require less mass for spacecraft acceleration, and propellant is ejected at velocities up to twenty times faster than traditional chemical thrusters. In terms of bulk utilization, this results in a more effective system.
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In recent years, numerous private companies have entered the space industry, including SpaceX, Scaled Composites, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. These companies are actively engaged in various space-related endeavors and place a specific focus on countries lacking their launch capabilities. They are forming partnerships to facilitate satellite launches and specialized spacecraft missions in these regions. Moreover, SpaceX and Blue Origin are investing significantly in space tourism projects and plan to offer such services. SpaceX has gained considerable acclaim and attention among these companies for ambitious initiatives like Star Link.
While electric propulsion is extensively utilized in satellites and spacecraft, it is not the exclusive choice. The market offers diverse alternative propulsion systems for these applications. Studies indicate that notable alternatives include chemical propulsion systems, bipropellant propulsion systems, unified propulsion systems, and monopropellant hydrazine propulsion systems. The selection of a propulsion system depends on the application's specific needs, and these technologies can be employed across satellites and spacecraft of varying sizes. Nevertheless, there is a growing demand for electric propulsion due to its cost-effectiveness and operational benefits.
Satellites and spacecraft have various propulsion system options, and electric propulsion is not the only choice. The market offers various alternatives, including chemical propulsion systems, bipropellant propulsion systems, unified propulsion systems, and monopropellant hydrazine propulsion systems. The decision on which propulsion system to use depends on the application's specific requirements. These technologies are applicable across satellites and spacecraft of different sizes. However, there is a significant increase in the demand for electric propulsion due to its cost-effectiveness and operational advantages.
The South American electric propulsion system market is experiencing steady growth. The increasing demand for electric propulsion systems in satellites and spacecraft and the region's growing space activities are driving market expansion. Countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile are emerging as key players in the South American electric propulsion system market.
The South American electric propulsion system market is segmented into type, techiques, power ratings, and applications.
Based on type, the market is categorised into Based on type, the market is categorized 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.
Hall Effect Thruster (HET) is the most significant contributor to the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 19.5 % over the forecast period. HET is an electric propulsion system that uses a strong perpendicular magnetic field instead of a grid system. Electrons in an azimuthal Hall current traveling around the circumference of an annular ceramic channel are captured by the generated magnetic field. The electron then ionizes the propellant onboard and produces ionized plasma. Using an applied electric field, the ionized plasma is accelerated to produce thrust by generating an existing velocity of up to 65,000 miles per hour.
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 19.0% over the forecast period. Electric propulsion satellite refers to a satellite that is propelled by a hybrid or entirely electric propulsion system. It is a form of space propulsion that uses electrical power to accelerate or ignite propellant combustion using various electrical or electromagnetic techniques. Electrotherm propulsion, electrostatic propulsion, and electromagnetic propulsion are propulsion varieties that satellites utilize. It can be used for various space-based applications, including earth observation, navigational and telecommunication, astronomy, space exploration, and environmental studies, among others, depending on the utility.