Electronic components, which are equipped in satellites, launch vehicles, and deep space probes, hold huge importance, and require verification and testing in order to ensure their functionality. This is largely due to high degree of radiations in the space environment. Space contains high level of radiations that can potentially cause anomalies in the space electronics components operability. Single-event effects (SEEs), Electrostatic discharge (ESD), total ionizing dose (TID), and cumulative radiation damage are the major concerns for the space electronics market. Therefore, component designing is done in such ways that electrical components can operate and survive reliably in high-radiation environments. The electronic components used in the space are either radiation hardened or radiation tolerant depending upon the mission. Since electronic components play huge role in the success of a mission, there have been continuing advancements in semiconductor and electronics technology, leading to the development of small and light-weight electronic products.

The era of satellites particularly for earth observation began many years ago in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 satellite, which was launched with a radio, thermometer and battery. However, the space electronics industry has come a long way in decades leading miniaturization in the components and enabling stacking multiple components on single circuits with the invention of microcontrollers (MCUs). Satellites used to be of huge in size and with heavy payloads, however with the help of MCUs, the resultant electronic circuits become small in size and less complex along with consuming less power. This resulted in the advent of small satellites, which is a major traction in the overall space industry currently.

With a significant increase in satellite launches and launch vehicle industry, along with advancement in microprocessor and FPGA technologies, space electronic market has been witnessing robust growth. However, high cost in the development and testing the electronics components and creation of real testing environment are the major restraints for the market. This chapter of the report intends to provide an in-depth understanding of the major factors that are expected to act as drivers, challenges, and opportunities for the space electronic market.

Since the inception of the space industry, satellite manufacturing has been capital-intensive with long development process, which remained the prominent factor for restricted innovations in satellite manufacturing processes. However, with the emergence of entrepreneurial players in the market, new methods in satellite production have been witnessed, resulting in a rapid innovative growth in the market. Along with the commercial players, space agencies such as NASA, ESA, JAXA and ISRO have also contributed largely to the development of the space industry.

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Space electronics are primarily used in satellites, launch vehicles and others. The electronic components are used to enable functioning of satellite subsystem with optimum accuracy. In 2018, the major focus is to develop optimum electronic solutions for small satellites due to increasing production of small satellite constellation on a global scale.

The North America region includes mainly two countries, the U.S. and Canada. Currently, the U.S. is the dominant country that manufactures satellite, launch vehicles, and deep space probes in North America and is anticipated to remain the same until 2024. However, Canada is investing heavily in research and development of subsystems for the space applications and is anticipated to gain prominence in the market during the forecast period. Motivated by an intrinsic desire to explore space, major manufacturers along with government agencies in North America are extensively investing in developing latest technologies aimed at fundamentally improving the space access.