Satellites have always had a remarkable impact on civilization; however, the most recent developments are truly profound. There were more space-rocket launches in 2021 than in any prior year and many times more satellites were placed into orbit than in any prior year.
That trend has extended into 2022, during which time nearly as many satellites have been orbited in the first five months as in the entire year 2020. There were also a record number of launch failures in 2021, as new rocket launchers were introduced. Company President Roger J. Rusch continued with his comments…
The combination of universal broadband communications and commercial Earth imaging satellites has vastly expanded the strategic and tactical defenses of smaller countries like the Ukraine. The distributed nature of large LEO constellations has provided robust communication that is nearly impossible to jam. In spite of the space aspirations of totalitarian nations such as Russia and Communist China, free enterprise has established major resources in space. So far in 2022, there have been over 1,100 satellites launched — 90% of these were launched by American rockets from American launch bases and nearly all supported satellites for commercial enterprises.
Hundreds, even thousands, of communication satellites are being launched into LEO. The LEO investment is many $ billions per year. At the same time, income from existing satellite services continues to drop due to increased competition from terrestrial alternatives.
The industry is blessed to have some of the richest people on Earth investing in space assets. Even if this turns out to be a kind of charity, the benefits are spectacular. Not only are there several huge constellations of communication and imaging satellites under construction, but there are also multiple constellations of navigation satellites. When these capabilities are coordinated, even smaller countries can have formidable defense capability. This transformation has been demonstrated in the Ukrainian attack by Russia and Belarus.
These civil and commercial satellites are augmenting national capabilities of the past. The communication satellite industry has been robust for more than 50 years. There frequently have been major innovations and technical developments. Satellites today are far more powerful, capable, and flexible than they were only 10 or 20 years ago. The major change today is that they can have decisive defensive benefits. Unfortunately some administrations want to destroy LEO systems.
TelAstra, Inc. has prepared extensive reports to deal with issues faced by the industry and to identify mitigation strategies. This report is included with our regular industry reports.
Communication Satellite Databases 2022
TelAstra, Inc. has published Communication Satellite Databases for 37 years. The company has updated the firm’s special report supplement “The Satellite Revolution: 2022 Edition” to address the issues facing the industry.
The company firmly concludes that satellites have an expanding role in future communication services. The Report addresses these dynamic times for the satellite industry:
- The dramatic expansion of new satellite systems is providing explosive growth in capacity and declining prices. Revenue is still falling for most satellite operators.
- Video distribution is competing with fiber solutions.
- Subscribers to premium television, including DBS and DTH, are migrating to the internet.
- Many mobile systems will soon use LTE and 5G technology. New distribution channels are being developed for satellite services. IoT, airline and cruise ship passenger services are the latest high potential areas. Satellite telephone and broadband services are growing more slowly.
- New LEO constellation projects are being deployed rapidly.
- New satellites are being ordered for GEO and LEO constellations.