Military UAV Sensor Market by UAV Type (HALE, MALE, Tactical, Small), Sensor Type (Radar Sensor, Image Sensor, Motion & Position Sensor, Others), Technology Type (CMOS, MEMS, NEMS, Others), Application (Collision Avoidance, Navigation, 3D Scanner, Data Acquisition, LIDAR, Others), & Region – Global Forecast till 2023
The sensor is a device that detects physical input, such as light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, or any other entity, and responds by producing an output on a display or transmits the information in electronic form for further processing. Sensors are used in unmanned aerial vehicles to cater different functions such as navigation, collision avoidance, and data acquisition. Image sensor systems are currently trending in the market and are expected to be of significant importance, particularly in battlefield monitoring. Another important application of the UAV sensors is laser scanning, which covers large areas of terrains, such as steep gullies and cliffs, which is widely used due to its high accuracy in measuring distance. Of late, high investments are being made on the development of military UAVs, which would witness a rapid growth during the forecast period. However, one of the major restraints of the market is the stringent regulations made by the local aviation regulatory bodies.
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Moreover, in the recent years, the defense sectors of various countries are making significant investments to increase their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) fleet. The benefit of sensor technologies is that they help in improving the overall UAV architecture. Therefore, it is important for the UAV manufacturers to have competent sensors technology in unmanned aerial vehicles. For instance, in 2017, Raytheon signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), to modify and retrofit the sensors on the Global Hawk UAV. Similarly, in 2016, TE Connectivity acquired Jaquet Technology Group, to design and develop sensors for military applications. The acquisition helped the company to acquire expertise in sensor technologies.
The increasing investments in military UAVs, such as combat drones, will offer new growth opportunities to the market players. One of the factors responsible for the growth of the military UAV sensor market is the increasing number of military drones, such as combat drones, tactical drones, and target drones. The sensor market is predominantly headed by the electronics industry. Companies are strategically setting up their electronic manufacturing plants in the Asia Pacific region to avail various benefits, such as low cost of raw materials and availability of cheap labor. There were a number of contracts that fueled the market growth. For instance, in 2017, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. signed a contract with Defense Innovation Unit Experimental for the integration of certain sensors in high-speed drones.
The military UAV sensor market has been segmented into UAV type, sensor type, technology type, application, and region. Based on UAV type, the High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs are widely used and comprise the largest share in the market due to enhanced flying capability and high endurance. HALE UAV can fly as high as 60,000 feet, and are durable for a 32-hour mission. Based on sensor type, it is expected that the radar sensors are expected to witness the largest demand in the global market, during the forecast period, due to increasing adoption of radar sensors for various applications. Radar sensors can transmit radio frequency and interpret the return frequency to understand the earth’s surface properties. Radar sensors provide unique advantages in varied applications in aerospace & defense. Based on application, the navigation market segment is expected to account for the largest market share due to the increased usage of inertial sensor in the architecture of unmanned aerial vehicles. As inertial sensors are worked on the principle of gyroscope to navigate and estimate the properties of the terrain. On the basis of technology, Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) are expected to dominate the market during the forecast period, as it is comprises the pressure sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, pressure sensor, and biosensor for the Guidance, Navigation and Control of an autonomous UAV. Additionally, it consumed less power and has high navigation sensitivity which makes UAV applicable for extremely demanding applications and environment.
On the basis of region, the market has been segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America is expected to dominate the market in the future, due to its high deployment of UAVs for military applications. As a result, there is a large-scale development of sensors, such as image sensor, radar sensor, motion sensor, and optical sensor, which are integrated with UAV. Asia Pacific region follows the North American region in the global market due to the recent investments by companies on R&D and expanding electronics industry. Thus, the global military UAV sensor market is estimated to witness a rapid growth, at a CAGR of approximately 6%, during 2018 to 2023.
The key players in the military UAV sensor market are TE Connectivity (Switzerland), Raytheon Company (U.S.), Thales Group (France), Lockheed Martin (U.S.), AeroVironment (U.S.), General Atomics (U.S.), FLIR Systems (U.S.), Elbit Systems (Israel), Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (U.S.), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), and Safran Electronics & Defense (France).
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