The United Kingdom's electric propulsion system market size in 2023 is estimated to be USD 16.35 million, and in 2032, it is projected to reach USD 86.78 million at a CAGR of 23.2% 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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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.
Over the past few years, several private companies, such as SpaceX, Scaled Composites, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace, and Sierra Nevada Corporation, have entered the space industry. These companies are actively involved in diverse space-related activities and emphasize countries that lack their launch capabilities. They are establishing collaborations to enable satellite launches and specialized spacecraft missions in these regions. Additionally, companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are making substantial investments in space tourism ventures and have plans to offer such services. SpaceX has garnered significant recognition and attention among these companies for ambitious projects like Star Link.
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.
The electric propulsion system market in the United Kingdom is experiencing growth, driven by increasing investments in space technologies. The country's focus on satellite manufacturing and space exploration programs, along with the presence of key industry players, contributes to the development of the electric propulsion system market in the region.
The United Kingdom's electric propulsion system market is segmented into type, technique, power rating, and applications.
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 23.9 % over the forecast period. A strong magnetic field perpendicular to the grid system is utilized in HET, a form of electric propulsion. Electrons are trapped in an annular ceramic channel as an azimuthal Hall current flow around its periphery, creating a magnetic field. The electron then creates ionized plasma by ionizing the onboard propellant. An electric field accelerates the ionized plasma to up to 65,000 miles per hour to generate propulsion. However, the surrounding magnetic system is predominantly used to generate plasma, and this contact between the downstream edge of the channel and accelerating plasma erodes it. Satellites in Earth's orbit, factories in space, and robots exploring deep space are all potential users.
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 employed 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 23.4% 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. These satellite propulsion 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.