Impressive Growth in Small UAV Market

Impressive Growth in Small UAV Market

Photo illustration Wikipedia
AL ASAD, Iraq--ScanEagle waits on the catapult prior to launch. A small detachment of Marines and civilians is deployed here to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in western Iraq. The detachment is from Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, N.C. ScanEagle weighs approximately 40 pounds and has a 10-foot wing span. The aircraft operates with a small engine, requiring a small amount fuel. Its 4-foot frame can remain airborne for more than 10 hours. Each drone is launched using a catapult system, which makes it runway independent and perfect for forward operating forces. Using the Global Positioning System, it is retrieved with a skyhook where the UAV catches a small, suspended rope. Saving lives is the number one mission for this small detachment. As they collect information on potential targets, the leaders on the ground decide what effective measures to take to minimize the risks against friendly forces. Spending almost 15 hours a day gathering information, the analysts provide a solid foundation to make tactical decisions.

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Small UAVs have been defined in various terms among the national regulatory authorities, often without including size precisions, and differences about weight measurement specifications. These definitions range from less than 2 kg for Canada to less than 25 kg for the United States.

A new market research by, North America Small UAV Market 2019-2024, evaluates that the North American small UAV market is anticipated to record a CAGR of 9% to reach a value of $900 million by 2024. 

The growth of this market is driven by the increasing applications in surveying, aerial photography, 3D mapping, oil and gas pipeline monitoring and similar infrastructure inspection, and real estate surveys.

The demand for UAVs for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in military and surveillance missions in law enforcement sectors, fueled by the increasing military spending of countries, are further expected to propel the North American small UAV market.

Integration of technologies, like IOT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), along with the use of innovative micro-electronic components in unmanned aerial vehicles, is expected to generate future opportunities in the market, according to the report.

The retail segment of the North American small UAV market is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth is propelled by the retail sector of North America, which is the home for the world’s largest retailers. 

Online retail has witnessed rapid growth for the past three years. Service providers in the region find difficulties in making deliveries. In busy cities, where traffic is a major concern, drones (small UAVs) are the best possible solution for online retailers. Currently, the deliveries of Meds-By-Drone Delivery is initiated, and this is expected to be also used for the delivery of various parcels and other retail items that are likely to drive the growth for this segment during the forecast period.

The United States currently has the largest market share and is expected to record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the end of the ban on commercial drone flights, and may allow low-altitude flights of small drones within viewing range of a ground-based pilot. The necessity for constant and superior ISR capability by the armed forces has stimulated the United States to invest substantially in unmanned air systems and related technologies. 

Presently, the US DoD operates more than 7,000 UAVs, mainly in international locations, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, as well as domestically, along the United States-Mexico border. A majority of these are small UAVs, with a wingspan of between three to four feet, are used by ground units for real-time geographical or structural surveillance. 

The North American small UAV market is a highly fragmented one, with about nine companies dominating the market. Some of the prominent players in the market are: Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Thales, Airbus, and Elbit Systems. 

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