Drone payloads comprise EO/IR, cameras, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), signal intelligence (SIGINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), communication intelligence (COMINT), maritime patrol radar (MPR), and laser sensors, among others. The selection of these components, which are mounted on a UAV, is done based on mission requirements. The global drone payload market has been estimated to be USD 3.63 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 7.72 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 16.25% during the forecast period. Key factors, which are expected to drive the drone payload market, include advancement in sensor technology and increasing focus on using economical solutions for surveillance.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly being used for surveillance tasks by the military. This is accompanied by their rising use in commercial applications, such as precision agriculture, and infrastructure monitoring, among others. Another major trend is the use of sense and avoid technology in UAVs to reduce incidents of mid-air collision.
Key players in the drone payload market include SZ DJI Technologies (China), Lockheed Martin (U.S.), Elbit Systems (Israel), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), Thales Group (France), and 3D Robotics (U.S.), among others. These market players have adopted new product launches as a major strategy for organic growth. Their core competencies include enhanced focus, and investment in research & development of commercial applications of drone payloads. These market players also adopted strategies of partnerships, collaborations & agreements, and mergers & acquisitions to broaden their product portfolio in different segments.
SZ DJI Technology (China) is one of the top companies profiled in the drone payload market globally. Other key players, such as Northrop Grumman (U.S.), Thales Group (France), and Lockheed Martin (U.S.) are leading the market in terms of value. DJI accounts for a major share of the market for commercial drone payloads, in terms of volume. The company has been focusing on product development and launches to drive the use of drones in the commercial sector. For instance, the company launched the Phantom 3 series camera, which provides greater control and creative options from the sky. The launch of such innovative payloads has helped the company consolidate its market position.
Furthermore, Lockheed Martin Corporation (U.S.) is a leading player in the drone payload market. In 2015, Lockheed Martin launched ground-based systems called ICARUS, which are used to detect and identify UAV sensors. It also helps in identifying radio frequency sensors of UAVs. In 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract by the U.K. Ministry of Defence to support the Desert Hawk 3 program.
Drone Payload Market by Type (EO/IR, Cameras, SAR, Sigint, Elint, Comint, MPR, Laser Sensors, CBRN Sensors & Optronics), End-User (Defense & Commercial), and Region - Global Forecast to 2021
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