Northern Sky Research

The Bottom Line

Archive: November 2016 (X)

  • Rightsizing Smallsats

    Nov 29th, 2016 by Carolyn Belle   More from this Analyst | Profile

    The cubesat form factor is largely responsible for the explosive growth in the smallsat industry. The small and standardized size facilitated component development, deployment systems, and collaboration across university and agency projects. Yet, with a more mature and competitive industry, the opportunity to consider various form factors within the smallsat market has expanded.  The market now approaches a point of diversification, in which new projects increasingly opt for larger,…

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has always been a small component of the Earth Observation (EO) business. SAR satellites are typically more expensive to develop, and despite distinct advantages, the images are more complex, raising processing costs. However, with increasing focus on satellite constellations, and the rise of Big Data analytics, SAR-based opportunities in the next decade will grow, as global SAR revenues are expected to increase at twice the rate of optical.

    NSR’s…

  • NSR’s recently released Satellite Operator Financial Analysis, 6th Edition does significant digging into one of the most important metrics for satellite operators: capital expenditure (CAPEX). The CAPEX cycles of regional satellite operators tend to be highly cyclical. A satellite operator with only a few satellites with 15-year lifespans will only replace a satellite every few years, leading to several years of limited CAPEX, and spikes when replacements come about. Big Four operators,…