The global radiation hardened electronics market size was valued at USD 2.4 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 2.83 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 1.85% from 2022 to 2030. The term radiation-hardened electronics refers to a variety of electronic components, packages, and products that are primarily utilised for high-altitude applications. For the production of such components, silicon, silicon carbide, gallium nitride, and hydrogenated amorphous silicon are used as raw materials. These components are resistant to the damage caused by nuclear reactors' ionising and high-energy radiations, as well as gamma and neutron radiation. As for switching regulators, microprocessors, and power supply devices, they are utilised extensively in satellites, aircraft, and nuclear power plants. As a result, they find widespread use in numerous industries, including aviation, space, military, and defence.
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Satellites are utilised for a variety of purposes, including communications, positioning services, and Earth observation. Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, space-based missions have grown exponentially, as evidenced by the construction of the International Space Station and the launch of over 8,100 space objects, including dozens of exploration missions to every corner of the Solar System. Satellites have become the commercial and military sectors' top choice for conducting scientific research. The rising demand for satellites has prompted satellite manufacturers to adopt cost-effective methods for the production of satellites on a large scale. Revolutionary technological advancements have enabled the miniaturisation of electronics, which has spurred the development of intelligent materials, thereby reducing the size and mass of satellites over time. Numerous aerospace behemoths are investing in this sector as a result of the opportunities presented by small satellite projects.
In November 2018, the Space Alliance formed by Telespazio (Leonardo 67 per cent and Thales 33 per cent) and Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67 per cent and Leonardo 33 per cent) announced that the alliance had officially acquired a stake in NorthStar Earth and Space Inc. (NorthStar), the company developing the most advanced environmental and near-space monitoring system in the world. The alliance invested $40 million in order to provide NorthStar with solutions for the design, development, and implementation of a unique 40-satellite constellation comprised of double-equipped satellites that provide space situational awareness and geoinformation services. As radiation shielding is a crucial aspect of the design of electronic components for space-based applications, these developments are expected to increase the demand for radiation-resistant electronics.
The increase in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations worldwide is anticipated to impact the growth of the radiation-hardened electronics market from 2021 to 2028. In addition, the rapid advancements in field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and multicore processor technologies for military and space applications are expected to stimulate the growth of the radiation-hardened electronics market. In addition, the high demand for radiation-resistant electronics in the communication satellite sector and the rising demand for electronic systems that can withstand significant radiation exposure in the nuclear power industry is likely to have a positive impact on the market's growth.
Complexity in creating an actual testing environment and high costs of development and designing is anticipated to act as the major restraints for the growth of radiation-hardened electronics in the above-mentioned forecasted period, whereas the personalised needs of high-end consumers may challenge the market's growth from 2021 to 2030.
Increased research and development activities, rising demand for reconfigurable radiation-hardened components, and an increase in the use of commercial-off-the-shelf products in satellites and other space applications are expected to produce a number of new growth opportunities for the radiation-hardened electronics market during the aforementioned forecast period. Moreover, the rising number of international space missions is accelerating the demand for advanced radiation-hardened components, new configuration and design techniques, and software models to enhance the radiation tolerance of electronic components.
The radiation hardened electronics market share is segmented on the basis of component, material, manufacturing technique, product type, region and application. By component, the radiation-hardened electronics market is segmented into microprocessors and controllers, discrete semiconductors, power sources, memory, sensors, field-programmable gate array, application-specific integrated circuit, analogue and mixed signals, optoelectronics, and others.
On the basis of material, the market for radiation-resistant electronics is divided into silicon, hydrogenated amorphous silicon, silicon carbide, gallium nitride, gallium arsenide, and others. The manufacturing technique segment of the radiation-hardened electronics market is divided into rad-hard by design, rad-hard by process, and software-based radiation hardening.
On the basis of product type, the market for radiation-hardened electronics is divided into custom-made and commercial off-the-shelf segments (COTS). On the basis of application, the market for radiation-resistant electronics is segmented into space, aerospace and defence, nuclear power plants, medical, and others.
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As a result of technological advancements and the presence of a large number of end-users, particularly in the United States, North America is anticipated to dominate the radiation-hardened electronics market over the forecast period. The United States is a significant user of satellite-based telemetry and communication systems, which drives the demand for radiation-resistant electronics in North America. In light of this, roughly twenty per cent of the total number of satellite launches in 2019 were intended to meet the diverse needs of U.S.-based end users. Existing robust R&D and manufacturing infrastructure, exemplified by the presence of a number of prominent electronics manufacturing companies in the region, has also contributed to the region's sustained growth in the target market. The United States is a leader in aerospace and defence applications, and the rapid adoption of network-centric warfare techniques is expected to boost the market's growth prospects during the forecast period.