Space Market Research-Project Examples

Fixed Satellite Services- Government Markets Opportunity Assessment- Growth Strategies

Project Scope: A provider of GEO satellites, teleport facilities, terrestrial architectures and related services, operating in an increasingly competitive environment, needed an independent, custom assessment of changing needs and requirements from key customers with an independent summary and   recommendations on future actions to strengthen its business.

Results from this would directly support its tactical growth decisions over the next several years. 

Execution: This tailored project primarily involved in-depth research with a representative cross section of civil, commercial, and military customers across various channels and service areas.

This included government customers such as US DOD, NATO, major international defense agencies and ministries, civilian government clients, and larger state and local governments in law enforcement and emergency response. 

This custom research project assessed satisfaction with current services, competitive comparisons, specific areas where improvement was needed, performance feedback on offerings and support (sales, customer service, technical), price competitiveness, and major factors in choosing a fixed satellite services provider. It also probed for new offerings of future interest including mobile, ground integrated services, and related equipment.

This research was conducted both branded and unbranded with multiple key customer personnel including directors of engineering, systems engineers, program managers, purchasing directors, contracts managers, field operations, technology officers, and related executives.

Result: The company now had a current pulse from their most important customers on a variety of key issues, better understood perceptions held by key decision makers, and confidently make informed, constructive changes in several major areas.

This enabled the company to take actions which proved critical to its progress over the next several years, identifying and resolving potential problems on a timely basis to ensure smoother current business execution and future expansion.

Space-Based High-Power Amplifier Components For Ka-Band Satellites-Global Market Assessment

Project Scope: A supplier of integrated high-power component and system solutions for satellites and space-based platforms, planning major internal investments in key product designs to meet changing customer requirements,  needed a custom assessment of the Ka-band market trends and opportunities. 

Increased interest in broader band solutions from both commercial and military customers for media rich and high- bandwidth communications (airborne wireless, military communications, unmanned aircraft) suggested this should be a high-growth market.

Prior to making internal investment decisions, this company required this assessment to guide its actions in new product design and better understand real customer opportunities.       

Execution: As a starting point , a list of all likely Ka-band satellite projects over the next ten years timeframe were identified, analyzed, and categorized by estimated launch year, satellite builder, and primary employment (civil, commercial, military), and other topics.

 

Key decision makers involved with these programs were contacted and probed directly on a number of topics to establish likelihood of launching, number of relevant solutions to be installed on each satellite, insight on competitive offerings, technical requirements, expected pricing, and other key factors. This covered prime contractors, system integrators, and government program managers in 15 key countries.

On this basis a statistical projection of the addressable market with reasonable share was calculated.    

Result: This provided the company with a documented list of highly probable launches most likely to utilize new Ka-band solutions, and where they likely had a strong chance of being preferred over competition. It helped greatly accelerate the company's assessment of the opportunity in future Ka-band platforms, paving the way toward a well-defined new business implementation.

Lunar, Mars, Asteroid Exploration-Space Mining (ISRU) Solution

Market Assessment, System Design Guidance

Project Scope: A global engineering and technology company was pursuing new business opportunities in future space missions with a focus on ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization) for mining and in-situ use of resources on planetary surfaces (Moon, Mars, asteroids), all critical for future mission sustainment.

 

The company was developing simulators to measure and predict behavior of different ISRU equipment in simulated deep-space environments. This would help ensure ISRU equipment would function properly in these space missions, helping to guide the design and validate solution performance. Test article equipment (examples) included rover vehicle and components, 3D printing solutions, spacesuits, various robotics, prospecting tools, instruments, detectors, and related items, all of which would be deployed on lunar and planetary surfaces during future missions.  

 

Prior to committing significant development investment, this company needed to conduct custom, comprehensive research to guide its technology development, plan market entry, and specific customer strategies.

Execution: Extensive information was already published on the general ISRU market, but little of this provided a level of detail which this company needed. As a result, this project relied heavily on direct engagement with key decision makers and experts involved with past and future ISRU missions, in particular equipment and article performance requirements.

Key topics of interest included: types of equipment of interest, surface environment to be simulated, performance measures to be calculated in simulation evaluations, future business opportunities, and other factors.

 

In-depth research was conducted with a variety of companies involved with ISRU-related missions such as Boeing Space Exploration, Lockheed Space Systems (OSIRIS REX), NASA (Glenn Research Center), Lunar Planetary Institute, Shackleton Energy, Honeybee Robotics, Astrobotic, and others.

 

This covered a wide range of top subject matter experts including in-space-surface systems managers, directors of exploration technology, program managers, and others.

This independent opportunity assessment included detailed summary of key conclusions and recommendations, fully supported by direct independent research, and select in-house market data.

Result: Based on this custom research approach, this company could now accurately evaluate and plan its system design in the ISRU area, and develop future marketing and sales strategies, all leading to a successful new business in an attractive, future growth area.

Precision Energetics, Explosives Solutions-Future Sales Roadmap Commercial And Government Satellites And Spacecraft Programs

Project Scope: A supplier of precision energetic systems for satellite and spacecraft separation, release, actuation, and deployment was updating its strategic roadmap.

Many new commercial, civil, and military programs were in various stages of planning, and the company needed an independent, customized research and analysis that independently scored and ranked relevance and attractiveness of key future opportunities.

This company's solutions were applicable to: Flight separation; Launch and platform separation, Stage and payload separation, Flight termination, Satellite release, fairing separation, and other functions. 

Execution: This analysis involved a custom segmentation and market sizing of relevant space programs, identifying specific numbers of components including spares and re-supply unit requirements for each system, calculating a five-year projection of both addressable and available market. Most important to this independent was a ranking (high-medium-low) of key opportunities based on supportable research data and logical filters.

Output involved detailed spreadsheet analysis of new satellite and spacecraft procurements as well as retrofit(aftermarket) opportunities.

 

Most critical to these projections and justification of calculations was direct research conducted with key experts and decision-makers involved with important programs. Direct guidance and insights were assembled program by program on estimated unit requirements by type of device, current and changing needs, future buying factors, barriers to entry, insights on other solutions, and technology trends-all of critical significance to company sales and product strategies. 

This direct research which formed the basis for both numerical calculations and tactical and strategic ,planning recommendations was conducted with space program project managers, component engineers, engineering managers, engineering specialists, chief scientists, engineering leads, and others .

Result: with this independent data and customized guidance, the company was now able to make key decisions on both product and customer approach pursuits leading to a significant increase in revenues vs. prior period.

Precision Optical Systems-Commercial Space, Satellite Growth Opportunities-Assessment, Market Entry Strategies

Project Scope: A supplier of high-precision space optics and related optical systems (mirrors, mounts and metering structures) was seeking to diversify and expand its business for commercial spacecraft and satellite applications.

Key changes were taking place in this market, especially the emergence of smallsat and small spacecraft system designs, often delivering higher performance, affordability, and more rapid deployment compared to traditional larger platforms in areas of imagery for earth remote-sensing. 

As a result, this company was interested in opportunities for optical subassembly components for space-based imaging, remote-sensing, imaging data capture, and related pursuits.

Execution: this custom assessment involved analysis of latest trends, solutions, new technologies, and statistical projections of market potential by segment including detailed reviews of key competitors. Of greatest importance was direct research was conducted with relevant suppliers, program managers, and other market experts with regard to unmet needs, changing requirements, emerging new technologies, and their suggestions on actions our client should take to generate greatest appeal this dynamic market. This direct research engaged both US and overseas contacts on a variety of commercial, civil, and military programs. 

Result: as a result of this highly-customized research which addressed this company's particular capabilities and solutions, this client now had a current, comprehensive understanding of new potential commercial directions for its space-based optics.
           
This enabled it to significantly accelerate its sales development efforts, targeting specific areas of greatest potential, leading to steady annual revenue increases above its original plan.

Cryocooler Solutions

Opportunity Assessment, Sales Strategies

Project Scope: A European company specializing in cryocooler solutions had unique capabilities in reliability, weight, vibration, and easier integration.

 

It now supplied various system-level OEMs and wanted to expand its U.S. space and satellite business to military, civil, and commercial markets.  

The company required a custom analysis of market potential and a sales roadmap for strategic new growth.

Execution: As an initial baseline, this custom assignment first listed all addressable current and upcoming procurements.

 

Direct interviews were conducted with key defense program, planning and other market contacts to present this company's unique advantages and probe: offshore sourcing issues, price-cost performance expectation, other possible relevant programs, key competitors, and suggestions for sales and marketing strategy. These conversations were conducted unbranded, not revealing this company as sponsor.

 

This analysis narrowed top opportunities (platforms and systems) to military programs related to: missile warning, surveillance, aircraft IR sensors, ground vehicle/soldier IR sensors, UAV IR sensors, and standoff chemical IR sensor applications.

 

Non-military business opportunities were identified including enhanced vision systems and IR threat warning systems for commercial air transport and business aircraft; and Homeland security applications for chemical detection, and remote chemical cloud detection systems.

Resultthis identified a series of top addressable segments, specific programs where this company would be able to deliver an advantage, and in combination with direct research among key experts created a strategic roadmap for future growth in very specific areas.

 

This enabled the company to greatly accelerate successful sales development and  revenue generation, and in the process design and implement a long-term position in relevant U.S. markets for its key technologies.  

Ku-band Market -Integrated Communication Solutions Opportunity Assessment, Market Entry Strategies

Project Scope: A provider of communication subsystems, primarily for government satellites and space-based platform applications (NASA TDRS Space Shuttle, International Space Station), was seeking to broaden its business in the Ku-band HTS (High Throughput Satellites) segment. This also included commercial applications.

Although most HTS capacity was in Ka-band, Ku had been recently adopted by several major operators, and users with high reliability-high availability requirements were expected to drive even greater growth.

 

Government satcom usage was expected to remain steady while commercial Ku-band growth appeared more promising. The company was considering major Ku-band internal investments in key product designs. and required an assessment tailored to its particular interests.

Execution: This custom assignment involved an initial baseline analysis of key programs covering employment of satellite, estimated # of platforms, projected timing, and likelihood of launching. This was based both on reliable secondary data and in-house information.

Direct research was conducted with key experts among operators, integrators, and other user decision-makers and planners to validate projections and gain insight on key requirements and expectations.

Result: This company now had a custom, current understanding of relevant requirements across key programs, was able to precisely direct its sales development efforts, and selected four new program initiatives for early pursuit based on this tailored research and recommendations.

This assignment directly assisted this company in meeting its highly aggressive sales and profit goals for the following two years.

Optics (Space, Airborne, Ground, Directed Energy, Inspection Systems) Market Opportunity Assessment

Project Scope: A leading technology company with advanced solutions in Geospatial, ISR, Space and related markets required an independent update on market trends, key program opportunities, major competition, and market size/growth estimates across several major optics market segments.

 

These included space optics, airborne optics, ground-based optics, directed energy systems, and inspection systems. 

Execution: This independent assessment involved detailed analysis of major government programs (NASA, NSF, Air Force, Army, Navy, Missile Defense,  Civil (DHS, DOI), DOD Labs (AFRL, ONR) and other target customers. Based on both direct feedback gained by researchers among STS contacts within these agencies, and analysis of select secondary data, a structured analysis was completed answering key client questions including a summary of major conclusions and recommendations for new business pursuits in each Optics segment.     

Result: As a result of this custom update and market opportunity analysis across multiple segments, this company identified several new directions which had not been previously identified as growth priorities for this business area. This independent research and analysis insured that this company had a complete picture of the landscape of opportunities for potential pursuit, greatly improving its decisions on where it should emphasize its resources. 

Defense PNT (Position Navigation and Timing) Market Assessment and Sales Target Priority Plan

Project Scope: A major space technology company was seeking to expand and diversify its PNT product lines and provide differentiated DOD GPS receiver solutions for Army ground procurements, Navy and Air Force applications, Network Centric Warfare applications, and Assured PNT to address GPS denied or contested environments.

 

This was a significant market opportunity as improvements in GPS were a top military priority, driven by many factors including increasing concerns about commercial over-reliance on GPS.  

Execution: This custom research analysis identified all major upcoming procurements across multiple DOD and Intelligence agencies, developed a detailed spreadsheet ranking attractiveness of each opportunity based on several key filters (competition, likelihood of moving forward, relative size of program). It also included extensive detail on major competitor offerings, key positions, and other leverage points. This included a summary of specific recommended actions this company should take to secure a dominant position in this rapidly expanding sector. 

Result: As a result of this custom assessment, this company was able to accelerate its internal planning timetable by well over 12 months, enabling it to establish specific program target pursuits which were addressable and offered a high probability of winning.

Hyper-local Weather Sensor Technology-Space Launch, Aerospace Defense Opportunity Assessment and Market Entry

Project Scope: a technology company with unique sensor solutions needed to assess opportunities in hyperlocal weather, an emerging new area.

Hyperlocal weather (or micro weather) emphasized high definition, short-term weather predictions in tight, localized areas. This was seen as extremely beneficial to many markets including space launch, aviation, defense, unmanned drone operations, homeland security, agriculture, broadcasting, transportation, other areas. (e.g. "I don’t care what the weather will be 25 miles away. I want to know what it’s going to be right here at my location.")  

Execution: Current weather tracking and forecasting methods, relying on traditional NOAA Weather Service NEXRAD radars, satellite data, other inputs was now seen as an approach waiting to be enhanced, amidst what appeared to be increasing severe-weather activity. Computational analysis (AI, ML, IoT) could also be of value. Hyper-local weather sensors from this company might provide critical incremental input to the broader hyperlocal data mix, in a networked array, scalable, automatically configurable, easily connected, at reasonable expense. 

A key challenge was this solution was a very new concept, little relevant information in the public domain, thus requiring original, custom research methodology. Another challenge was to rank and score attractiveness of the multiple potential markets, selecting which channels this company should pursue first to gain a solid foothold for sales and market share which could then be leveraged to other attractive markets. Other critical calculations including pricing, sales forecast, geographic rollout planning.

This research directly engaged in a cross-section of key experts in multiple markets. Each was presented with an illustration of this unique concept, obtaining direct, in-depth feedback on key questions including: Understanding of his concept, questions? Market interest in this solution? Key drivers to adopt? Challenges, barriers to entry? Markets with most interest? Market entry strategies (channels, key customers to target first)? Interest in learning more, talking with our client? This research was conducted, unbranded, not acknowledging client sponsor. Select secondary research as available was also assembled as part of the final report. 

Result: this company now had a highly detailed and original custom market research assessment tailored specifically to its new solution, documenting expert interest, market potential, entry strategy, and business growth expansion near and long-term. The company was now able to present its business case justification to top management with a defensible, useful and meaningful body of information, and make critical decisions on hiring and deploying critical resources which it had not been able to do before.

Accelerating Client Growth-Delivering Consistent Value

"On behalf of L-3, I'd like to thank you and your staff for the fine work you recently completed in support of our new product business expansion. This was a complicated assessment of opportunities in a new satellite communications market segment with applications for military, commercial, and civil employment. Your group completed its analysis on time and on budget, and you always seem to take the extra step to improve upon the product. Your company's unique methodology of interfacing directly with the customer base provided us explicit guidance on current market direction. Your support was very beneficial to help guide our IR&D investment decisions in this rapidly evolving market. We appreciate all your fine support, and we'd be happy to provide a positive reference for future jobs you may be bidding." Business Development Manager, Space Communications, L-3 Communications

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