Best Umanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are remotely piloted aerial vehicles that play a significant role in the defense as well as commercial sectors. UAVs are commonly termed as drones and are mostly known for their wide usage in various military missions such as border surveillance. They are also used for mapping, surveying, and determining weather conditions of a specific area. The market is driven by an increase in the use of UAVs in Civil & Commercial applications, growing use of UAVs in various military applications, increasing use of UAVs in life-threatening military missions, increasing use of modern warfare techniques by defense forces, increasing use of UAVs as loitering munition , increasing use of UAVs in advanced patrolling of marine borders, exemptions made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to permit the use of UAVs in several industries  and growing use of UAVs to counter terrorism.

Top 10 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  1. DJI
  2. Parrot Drones SAS
  3. Microdrones
  4. FLIR System Inc
  5. Lockheed Martin Corporation
  6. Yuneec
  7. Northrop Grumman Corporation
  8. Airbus S.A.S.
  9. Boeing
  10. Elbit Systems Ltd.

Competitive Scenario

The UAV market is a highly competitive and fragmented one with a large number of public and private sector players operating in it. The increasing use of different types of UAVs in the military and commercial sectors has fueled the growth of the UAV market across the globe. Multiple strategies have been adopted by key players operating in this market to enhance their product offerings.

In addition, a benchmarking of the strategies adopted by the key players in the UAV market has also been performed. The benchmarking process involves analysis of the key developments such as new product launches, contracts, and agreements carried out by the leading players of the UAV market.


This section provides information about the major players that offer UAVs/Drones, and outlines the findings and analysis on how well each vendor performs within the specified criteria. We have placed vendors into 4 categories based on their performance in each criterion: Visionary Leaders, Innovators, Emerging Companies, and Dynamic Differentiators.


Visionary leaders are the leading market players in terms of new developments such as product launches, innovative technologies, and the adoption of growth strategies. These players have a broad product offering that caters to most of the regions globally under the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles category. Visionary leaders primarily focus on acquiring the leading market position through their strong financial capabilities and their well-established brand equity. Visionary Leaders in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market are: Parrot Drones SAS, DJI, Microdrones, Flir Systems Inc, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Yuneec, Northrop Gumman Corporation, Airbus S.A.S., Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries, General Atomics, Aerovironment, Elbit Systems Ltd, Kespry Inc, Raytheon.


Dynamic Differentiators are established players with very strong business strategies. However, they have a weaker product portfolio compared to the visionary leaders. They generally focus only on a specific type of technology related to the product under the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles category. Dynamic Differentiators in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market are: Thales Group, Bae Systems, Ehang, Textron Inc, Turkish Aerospace Industries. 


Innovators in the competitive leadership mapping are vendors that have demonstrated substantial product innovations as compared to their competitors. The companies have focused on product portfolios. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business, when compared with the visionary leaders. Innovators in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market are: SaaB AB, 3D Robotics Inc, Aeronautics Ltd, PrecisionHawk. 


Emerging companies have niche product and service offerings. Their business strategies are not as strong as that of the established vendors. The emerging vendors include the new entrants in the market, emerging in terms of product portfolio and geographic reach, and require time to gain significant traction in the market. Emerging Company in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market is the ECA Group.  

What are the major applications of UAVs/Drones?

Thermal Detection
Thermal detection involves the use of thermographic inspection across industries such as agriculture, mining, construction, and oil & gas. Thermal cameras use infrared radiation to detect objects in a dark environment. These cameras are capable of capturing images in the dark and are useful for several military and commercial applications. Flir Systems Inc. offers thermal imaging solutions in unmanned aerial vehicles, which are used for solar farm imaging, pipeline inspections, and for intelligence gathering by military and government & law enforcement agencies. Thermal cameras use heat signatures to create images based on the information gathered by drones. They are also known as night vision cameras, low-light imaging cameras, thermal imaging cameras, and near-infrared illumination cameras. The thermal detection application segment of the drone analytics market is projected to grow from USD 447.7 million in 2017 to USD 1,587.8 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 28.81% from 2017 to 2022.

Geolocation Tagging
Geolocation tagging involves the tagging of photographs and videos with the geographic data gathered from drones. Industries such as mining & quarrying, oil & gas, and construction use geolocation tagging to combine geographical metadata with images or videos captured by drones. In January 2017, Agribotix (US) and SenseFly (Switzerland) entered into a partnership to provide end-to-end drone and geolocation tagging to professional users in the agriculture industry. The geolocation tagging segment of the drone analytics market is projected to grow from USD 73.7 million in 2017 to USD 246.9 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 27.34% during the forecast period.

Aerial Monitoring
Aerial monitoring involves monitoring and inspection in the agriculture & forestry, insurance, utility, telecommunication, oil & gas, transportation, and scientific research sectors. It is also used in construction sites to track the progress of work. It involves machine learning, wherein the software installed at the end-user level automatically detects patterns in images captured by drones. Airware (US) provides aerial data monitoring solutions for the mining & quarrying and construction industries. The aerial monitoring application segment of the drone analytics market is projected to grow from USD 186.6 million in 2017 to USD 644.3 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 28.13% during the forecast period.

Ground Exploration
Ground exploration involves the collection of data from construction and mining sites. It is also used in scientific research, agriculture, and forestry for site surveying. DroneDeploy (US) offers solutions that are used for ground exploration. The ground exploration segment of the drone analytics market is projected to grow from USD 41.6 million in 2017 to USD 136.1 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 26.78% during the forecast period.

3D Modelling
The use of drones for 3D modeling has not only helped organizations visualize and construct visual prototypes of their products but also enables them to have a highly graphical representation of activities such as navigation. 3D mapping and 3D modeling are currently being used widely across various industries, such as construction, agriculture, and insurance, among others. Due to the increasing demand for 3D maps and models, companies offering drone analytics solutions are making efforts to provide customized solutions to meet the specific requirements of different industries. DroneDeploy (US), and ESRI (US) are some of the major players offering 3D modeling solutions. The 3D modeling segment of the drone analytics market is projected to grow from USD 334.7 million in 2017 to USD 1,295.6 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 31.08% during the forecast period.

How are the UAVs generally categorized into different classes?

Small UAVs

Small UAVs comprise nano, micro, and mini UAVs that fly at a low altitude of less than 350 meters. The production of small UAVs accounts for a share of approximately 17.0% of the total UAVs produced across the globe. The small UAVs segment of the UAV market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period due to increased demand for these UAVs from the defense sector for surveillance and reconnaissance applications.

Small UAVs are further classified into:

  1. Nano UAVs - Nano UAVs have a range of 1 kilometer and can fly at an altitude of 100 meters. These UAVs weigh 0.025 kilograms. 
  2. Micro UAVs - Micro UAVs have a range of 1 kilometer and can fly at an altitude of 250 meters. These UAVs weigh between 0.025 kilograms and 5 kilograms. 
  3. Mini UAVs - Mini UAVs have a range of 1 kilometer to 2 kilometers and fly at an altitude of 150 meters. These UAVs weigh between 5 kilograms and 150 kilograms. 

Strategic and Tactical UAVs
Strategic UAVs comprise High-altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) and Medium-altitude Long-endurance (MALE) UAVs. At high altitudes, UAVs tend to be heavy and hence, require high endurance and increased range. This is mainly since large platforms carry large payloads and require more energy to fly for a long duration of time. MALE UAVs carry up to 1,500 kilograms and have a maximum flight altitude of 14,000 meters. HALE UAVs weigh 12,000 kilograms and can fly at a maximum altitude of 20,000 meters.

Tactical UAVs fly at altitudes ranging between 3,000 meters and 8,000 meters. These UAVs are primarily used in military applications. Tactical UAVs fill the gap that exists between small UAVs and strategic UAVs by combining the flexibility of small platforms with high-end platforms. Close-range (CR), Short-range (SR), and Medium-range (MR) UAVs can operate over a limited distance, owing to their lack of satellite communication systems.

These are further classified into:

  1. Close Range UAVs - Close-range tactical UAVs have a range of between 10 kilometers and 30 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 3,000 meters. These UAVs weigh 150 kilograms.
  2. Short Range UAVs - Short-range tactical UAVs have a range of 30 kilometers to 70 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 3,000 meters. These UAVs weigh 20 kilograms.
  3. Medium Range UAVs - Medium-range tactical UAVs have a range of 70 kilometers to 200 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 5,000 meters. These UAVs weigh between 5 kilograms and 1,250 kilograms.
  4. Medium Range Endurance UAVs - Medium-range endurance tactical UAVs have a range greater than 500 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 8,000 meters. These UAVs weigh 1,250 kilograms.
  5. Low Altitude Deep Penetration UAVs - Low-altitude deep penetration tactical UAVs have a range greater than 250 kilometers and can fly at an altitude from 50 meters to 9,000 meters. These UAVs weigh 350 kilograms.
  6. Low Altitude Long Endurance - Low-altitude long-endurance tactical UAVs have a range greater than 500 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 3,000 meters. These UAVs weigh less than 30 kilograms.
  7. Medium Altitude Long Endurance - Medium-altitude long endurance UAVs operate at an altitude of 14,000 meters and weigh around 1,500 kilograms.
  8. High Altitude Long Endurance - High-altitude long-endurance UAVs are long-range unmanned aircraft that operate at an altitude of >60,000 feet and fly above commercial traffic.

Special Purpose UAVs

Special-purpose UAVs include:

  1. Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) - Unmanned combat aerial vehicles are remote-controlled combat drones used to carry armaments such as firearms, explosives, and missiles from one place to another. These UAVs function under real-time human control. Unmanned combat aerial vehicles can fly at an altitude of 10 kilometers with a flying range of 1,500 kilometers.
  2. Loitering UAVs - Loitering UAVs ‘loiter’ around a specific area to locate the target. The UAVs specify and lock the target and then fire at it. Loitering UAVs are also being planned to be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities in military applications.
  3. Swarm Drones - Swarm drones refer to a combination of more than one drone. These drones operate autonomously or are controlled by a single pilot. Swarm drones are used in military applications.
  4. Lethal UAVs - Lethal UAVs can fly at an altitude of 4 kilometers with a range of up to 300 kilometers. These UAVs have an endurance of 4 hours.
  5. Decoy UAVs - Decoy UAVs can fly at an altitude of 5 kilometers with a fly range of 500 kilometers. The average weight of a decoy UAV can be up to 250 kilograms.
  6. Stratospheric UAVs - Stratospheric UAVs can fly at an altitude of 20 kilometers and have a fly range of 2,000 kilometers. The average weight of a stratospheric UAV can be up to 2,500 kilograms.
  7. Exo-Stratospheric UAVs - Exo-stratospheric UAVs can fly at an altitude of 30,500 kilometers. MarsFlyer and MAC-1 are exo-stratospheric UAVs commonly used by scientific research institutes.

How are the verticals divided in the UAV/Drone Market?

Based on verticals, the UAV market in this study is segmented into military, commercial, government & law enforcement, and consumer.

UAVs are used in military applications to perform various tasks in hostile territories. They are also used during wars and peacetime missions to mitigate the risk to the lives of pilots and enhance the aeronautical capabilities of defense forces. UAVs are widely accepted by the defense sector worldwide, owing to their limited operational costs in comparison to manned aircraft and the benefits offered by them to defense forces. UAVs exhibit extreme endurance and potential during high-altitude flights.

UAVs are utilized in the military sector for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities, electronic warfare, strike missions, and battle damage assessment applications. Resupplying, aerial refueling, and air combating are some of the upcoming applications of UAVs in the military sector. Changing warfare techniques require conducting critical missions in populated areas. The availability of advanced navigation and satellite communication technologies has made remote operations of UAVs highly viable. UAVs can reduce collateral damage while hovering, searching, identifying, and striking targets, which makes them an invaluable asset for the military. The military vertical segment of the UAV market has been further classified into intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, combat operations, and battle damage management.

The UAV market has not only stirred the interest of defense organizations worldwide but has also led to a large number of investments from various public and private sector organizations to develop new and advanced UAVs. The capability of UAVs to be used in a number of potential applications in the civil & commercial sector has led to developments in the field of UAVs. The civil & commercial application segment of the UAV market is expected to grow significantly in the next ten years.

UAVs are being procured for various civil & commercial applications. For instance, UAVs are utilized in Japan to spray pesticides as well as in a variety of other applications. Wi-Fi connectivity and product delivery related applications of UAVs are also estimated to witness an increase in the near future. Amazon (US) plans to use small UAVs for product delivery. There have been significant R&D investments in the field of UAVs that have widened their applicability in mining, surveying, 3D mapping, and oil & gas exploring activities, among others.

Government and Law Enforcement
UAVs are widely used in homeland security applications such as police investigations & operations, traffic investigations & monitoring, search & rescue operations, and disaster management. The growth of this segment of the market can be attributed to the increased investments being made by several organizations and companies for developing UAVs that are used for crowd control and investigation. In September 2018, the Indian government used drone camera surveillance for crowd control and traffic management during the Men’s Hockey World Cup. ideaForge is one of the leading Indian startups developing drones for crowd control and traffic monitoring applications.

Consumer drones are gaining popularity across the globe. They are being used by prosumers and hobbyists. The growth of this segment of the market is due to the increasing popularity and cost-effectiveness of drones.

Use Cases

Search and Rescue Missions

  1. Drone technology is perfect for search and rescue assignments. Drones can easily reach remote parts quicker than people or vehicles. They can rapidly reach areas that vehicles cannot reach, areas that are too wide to be crossed on foot, or too isolated or risky.
  2. Moreover, they can fly over search areas with lights, sensors and cameras, and can recognize heat signs that trace living beings using infrared technology.


Not every agricultural application can be substituted with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, but the time and expense savings will reasonably be substantial in cases where a drone can do the job. Crop spraying and pest management would be one evident drone application for agriculture, but there are more:

  1. Sowing seeds: Planting seeds, along with nutrients to sustain them, is likely to become a common mainstream practice
  2. Soil analysis: Drones can deliver understandings early on in the crop cycle by creating accurate 3-D maps that allow farmers to plan their seed planting patterns, as well as fertilization and irrigation.

Commercial, Industrial & Construction

Drones, mostly quads are discovering their utility in the construction industry in many ways. The main 5 include:

  1. Inspections.
  2. Employees monitoring.
  3. Show customers an aerial look of construction progress.
  4. Surveying.
  5. Security.

Aerial Delivery & Shipping

  1. One of the many groundbreaking drone uses that rapidly caught a lot of media attention is food and product distribution via drones. Big players such as DHL, Amazon, Dominos, and FedEx are testing the feasibility of using drones for local carriage of their items. It could considerably reduce human labor and speed up delivery times.
  2. A major hindrance for drone companies presently is FAA restrictions on the commercial uses of drones. These are not allowed at this time without express agreement by the FAA. They are working on changed guidelines.
  3. Delivery companies and retailers are still going through multiple trials to have this technology possible, but it is only about time before these glitches are fixed out. The foremost concern is dependable delivery and public safety. Several methods are getting used to tackle these matters.


  1. Drones are observing a lot more application in mining areas across the world. Drones are getting used to deal with works that are unsafe or difficult for workers.
  2. To make mine employees safe, drones are being used to examine for hazardous places such as mine entrances and pit walls particularly if the spot is considered being unsafe and dangerous to mine workers.
  3. Both mapping and modeling are vital to mining organizations. The application of UAV in this segment delivers far more precise models and maps and are much less expensive compared to existing popular methods.

Real Estate Photography

  1.  Amongst the initial uses of personal quadcopters and drones was from real estate agencies as a publicity tool for listing homes.
  2. For years, realtors trusted on pictures to present their home listings. Pictures alone would never give any potential customers an actual sense of what the house felt like or looked like. Photos were one dimensional.
  3. To fix this tricky situation, virtual walkthroughs and even a few videos got famous. Virtual walkthroughs never really worked, though videos started to become an outstanding sales and marketing solution for agents.

What are the major components of a UAV/Drone?

Flight Control systems
Flight control systems use data from a set of sensors such as accelerometers, gyros, and pressure sensors, among others, to determine the flight path of UAVs. Flight control systems help in flying and navigating UAVs with the help of various controls. Flight control systems provide a platform for inexperienced pilots to control UAVs efficiently.

The flight control systems that are being used presently are not sufficient to safely navigate UAVs in crowded spaces. Hence, the development of new systems that can help UAVs in avoiding obstacles is required. Sense & avoid or see & avoid systems are being developed by various UAV manufacturers. These systems have obstacle avoidance capabilities, which, in turn, are expected to lead towards increased adoption of UAVs in various applications.

Sensors are an integral part of UAVs as they gather information and provide it to various control systems. This information is used by control systems to navigate UAVs and control their payloads. Advancements in sensor technologies have led to the incorporation of sense & avoid systems in UAVs for efficient navigation by avoiding obstacles. Speed seniors are also known as angular rate sensors or angular velocity sensors. Speed sensors are used for navigation and measurement of the angular velocity of UAVs by taking inputs from altitude indicators, heading indicators, and turn coordinators.

Communication Systems
Communication systems in UAVs ensure a continuous link between UAVs and ground control stations. The basic function of these systems is to receive command and control signals from base stations and transmit data to ground control stations. The type of communication suitable for a particular UAV is based on the cost of the UAV, flight environment, and the nature of the task that a UAV has to perform. Thus, communication systems should be reliable, and there should be no loss of communication, to prevent damage or loss of vehicles.

Data links are the most common communication systems used in UAVs. They enable vital communication between UAVs and ground control stations. They comprise uplinks and downlinks to provide command and control information that is transferred from ground control stations to UAVs using command links, payload data, and status information. However, the transfer of information from UAVs to ground control stations is carried out using relay links. A UAV data link system comprises antennas, diplexers, computers, transmitters, and receivers.

Propulsion Systems
Propulsion systems are power sources of UAVs that allow them to fly. There are a number of power sources, which can be used to power UAVs. These include gasoline, diesel fuel, batteries, fuel cells, and solar energy. The propulsion systems used in UAVs influence their range and altitude.

Electrically powered UAVs use batteries to store energy and power their electric motors. As compared to gas-powered UAVs, battery-powered UAVs are easier to operate and produce lesser noise. However, batteries used in UAVs need to be recharged once depleted, which requires a substantial amount of time. Small UAVs are powered using batteries, while large UAVs such as MALE and HALE UAVs are powered using fuel.

UAV Software
The software segment of the UAV platforms market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period, owing to technological developments in the field of commercial UAVs. However, with the increasing need to minimize R&D expenses, defense forces of different countries are focusing on the development of in-house software instead of procuring them from vendors. In 2014, the testing of control software for maritime UAVs was started by the US Navy. According to the US Naval Air Systems Command, the Common Control System (CCS) software was installed on the MQ-4C Triton control station-based simulator of Northrop Grumman (US) by engineers at NAS Patuxent River. This software is expected to be the baseline for naval UAS, along with the Triton and MQ-8 Fire Scout rotary-wing UAS.

Recent Developments

  1. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is presently observing a high growth rate due to the increasing usage of UAVs for BVLOS operations, need for moving huge quantity of data in real time, and need for protected satellite communication data link for military applications. In the span of three years (2017-2019), the industry has observed numerous product introductions and research and development events from UAV manufacturers and satellite communication service provider.
  2. North America accounts for the maximum part of the market due to the maximum number of UAV companies present in the region as well as high defense budget of the U.S. that flourish the demand for military UAVs in the country. However, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to observe the highest growth during the forecast period, due to the increasing terror activities in the South Asian countries.
  3. Singapore plans to use drones for tasks like parcel delivery, inspecting buildings and providing security. 
  4. Lockheed Martin, one of the leaders in the market, has declared big initiatives with implications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle air traffic management and battery storage technology. 
  5. India and the U.S. have recognized small air launch unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV) and a lightweight small arms technology project along with aircraft maintenance for defense association

What are the major trends affecting the UAV/Drone Market?

Artificial Intelligence in UAVs
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to enable UAVs to perform all tasks, right from their launch and navigation to data acquisition, data transmission, and data analysis. The incorporation of artificial intelligence in UAVs will also reduce the level of skill required by UAV pilots. UAVs equipped with artificial intelligence can be used in both, commercial as well as military applications. Defense forces across the globe are funding various R&D programs to implement artificial intelligence in UAVs meant for the defense sector, and it is expected to be implemented in the next couple of years.

3D Printing of UAVs
UAVs can be manufactured using 3D printing or additive layer manufacturing (ALM) technology. 3D printing of UAVs allows for the computerized development of their designs, which is expected to cut down the manufacturing time of UAVs. In 2016, Airbus (France) unveiled a 3D-printed 13-feet long UAV called Thor. Companies such as Stratasys (US) and Aurora (US) have also developed jet-powered 3D printed UAVs. These UAVs are made from production-grade thermoplastics with the required flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) rating. 3D printing of UAVs is expected to accelerate the production of customized UAVs for power plants, communication, and command & control applications, among others.

Endurance in UAVs
The types of power sources used in UAVs include lithium-ion batteries, gasoline, hydrogen fuel, solar cells, and hybrid propulsion systems, among others. Advancements in propulsion systems of UAVs are focused on the development of high-speed vehicles that consume less energy. Most existing UAVs operate within the limits of useful speed. This is expected to push the endurance limits of UAVs. For instance, Next Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) is a solar electric propulsion technology project aimed at developing ion engine technologies for UAVs. It is managed by the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Drone Payloads
UAVs are increasingly being used by defense forces of different countries to carry out surveillance activities. They are also used in many commercial applications such as precision agriculture and infrastructure monitoring, among others. UAVs used by defense forces comprise remotely piloted aircraft equipped with battlefield communication and control equipment that offers real-time images. Various types of payloads, such as sensors and cameras, among others that are mounted on these UAVs have also undergone technological changes to enhance their capabilities. Designers of these payloads face challenges in terms of size, weight, and power (SWaP) restrictions. These SWaP restrictions make it essential for UAV developers to select payloads that have high operational capabilities and low costs. The use of drones/UAVs, specifically in commercial applications, is highly dependent on the reduced costs of drones/UAVs and the SWaP of payloads to deliver quality performance.

Wireless Charging
UAVs used in civil and commercial applications such as product delivery, inspection, monitoring, and scientific research, among others, require charging stations to recharge their batteries. This requires the installation of wireless charging pads in their landing or docking spots. Wireless charging can prove to be beneficial for many commercial industries as it results in extended flight capability of civil and commercial UAVs. Skysense (US) currently offers wireless charging solutions for UAVs.

UAV Market Outlook

  1. Military Segment is likely to lead the UAV Market by 2024 - UAVs have been thought to be the main source of gathering intelligence through reconnaissance, as well as surveillance. Due to the competences possessed by the UAVs to lessen the risk of damage of human life, UAVs have achieved substantial traction amongst numerous governments around the world since the last decade. 
  2. APAC is anticipated to observe the most rapid development in the UAV Market by 2025 - APAC is projected to record the uppermost CAGR, by 2025, owing to the rising acceptance of UAVs in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the growing technological expansions of drones in the region and variations in regulations. The procurement of UAVs in the region is progressively growing, thereby driving the growth of the UAV market in Asia-Pacific.

Best Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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Lockheed Martin is a multinational defense corporation that makes sophisticated military planes (including combat and air mobility planes), unmanned air vehicles, and associated technology. For its defense clients, the company's AI-enabled autonomous unmanned systems provide expanded capabilities in terms of operation and maintenance. The firm sells UAVs in a variety of sizes and types, including Mini UAVs, Micro UAVs, HALE, Medium-Range UAVs, and Combat UAVs.

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Raytheon is a pioneer in the development of extensible remote sensing and unmanned aerial systems. It sells items for both the commercial and military markets. Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; hurricane hunting; real-time intelligence; security; and research are just a few of the uses for the company's products.

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Boeing is a major producer of commercial jetliners as well as defense, space, and security technologies. Commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weaponry, electronic and defensive systems, unmanned systems, launch systems, sophisticated information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training are among the company's products and services.

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DJI is a subsidiary of iFlight Technology Company Limited, and it is a leading maker of commercial drones across the world. Cameras, drones, flight controllers, drone accessories, propulsion systems, and camera gimbals (aerial and handheld) are all produced by the firm. Drones, components, and video transmissions are the three areas in which DJI sells its goods.

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Textron is a multi-industry firm that offers innovative products and solutions to clients all over the world through a global network of aerospace, defense, industrial, and financial industries. To complement its goods, the company also offers global maintenance and business development services. Textron's devices may be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks, as well as border security.

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The firm is a pioneer in the advancement and deployment of autonomous system design for unmanned aircraft by using its patented advanced technology demonstration projects such as Mantis and Taranis. BAE Solutions is a pioneer in the use of intelligent autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and it has developed a number of smart systems that will revolutionize future UAS operations.

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Saab is a defense, commercial aviation, and civil security company that manufactures and sells goods, services, and solutions. The aeronautics business area of Saab manufactures products for the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry. Unmanned fixed-wing and rotary-wing vehicles for defense purposes are among the company's UAV products. This division of the corporation has developed remotely piloted aerial systems in collaboration with UMS Aero Group AG (Switzerland).

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HALE Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, medium-range UAVs, short-range UAVs, and combat UAVs are all available from Northrop Grumman. The company's unique UAV offerings include the Global Hawk system, which is used for real-time high-resolution imagery of landmasses for threat awareness; the Tritron system, which provides ISR functionality over oceans and coastal regions; and the BAT, which is an affordable, medium-altitude, multi-mission unmanned aircraft system, among others. The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is a remotely piloted surveillance aircraft that operates at a high altitude.

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Thales is a leading provider of modern air defense, C4I systems, and defense electronics across the world. Secure communication and information systems, land and air systems, defense mission systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles are among the products offered by the defense and security industry. It sells a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, including combat UAVs, tactical UAVs, and small UAVs. Thales can provide entire UAS solutions as well as individual items to help you establish your UAS capacity.

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Small UAVs from AeroVironment, such as the Raven, Wasp AE, Puma, and Shrike, are used for ISR and communication applications such as tactical reconnaissance, tracking, and combat evaluation, as well as obtaining geographic data. The company's tactical unmanned aircraft systems include enhanced payloads of electro-optical or infrared sensors that aid troops in real-time tactical reconnaissance, tracking, combat evaluation, and geographic data collection. The unmanned aircraft systems division provides cutting-edge UAS and tactical missile systems, as well as training and support.

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Parrot is a key participant in the commercial UAV sector, designing, developing, and marketing unmanned technology products for enthusiasts and professionals all over the world. Drones, accessories, and support services are among the company's UAV products. The Parrot Sequoia+ is the world's first multispectral camera to provide comprehensive and accurate reflectance measurement, allowing for a more consistent examination of acquired data and eliminating the requirement for a reflectance target.

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General Atomics’ Predator and Sky Guardian drones are the company’s prime revenue pockets. It also integrates other sensors and communication equipment for manned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. The company has been working on developing various advanced technologies for solid-state lasers, electro-optical sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is an affiliate of General Atomics and is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions.

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Flir Systems Inc. designs and sells technology used for thermal imaging, visible light imaging, video analytics, and advanced threat detection. The company operates through 3 business segments: industrial business unit, government & business unit, and commercial business unit. The company offers different payloads and UAV platforms for the UAV market. Flir Systems Inc. has product offerings for the government & defense, industrial, and commercial markets. The company has UAV payloads for firefighting, traffic monitoring, and law enforcement applications. Firefly camera  tool provides in-depth learning for system designers in structured decisions enabling the users to bring up high-quality products and improve productivity. A neural network with Neurotechnology is well utilized by the FLIR Firefly DL facilitating with optimum cost-effectiveness and taking complex decisions for on cameras, with no host PCs. 

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There are two varieties of drones offered by Intel: Premium and Classic. Both are engineered to withstand real-world performance situations, have LEDs that create over four billion color variations, and are purpose-built for safety. The Intel next-generation Premium drone is brighter and quicker than the previous generation, making it excellent for high-resolution animations, rapid transitions, and environments with a lot of ambient light. The Intel Classic drone is the ideal answer for clients on a budget who wish to display simplified graphics and text in low-light environments.

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the largest government-owned defense and aerospace company in Israel. It is a global leader in the production and development of civil aircraft, fighter aircraft, drones, avionics, missile, and space-based systems for the defense, homeland, and commercial markets. The company has strong product offerings of tactical and strategic UAVs and is one of the leading manufacturers of VTOL UAVs in the Middle East.

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EHang is one of the leaders in the autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform. It provides AAV products and commercial solutions, which include passenger transportation, logistics, smart city management, and aerial media solutions. The company’s Ghostdrone and Falcon series drones are used for commercial and security applications.

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Yuneec drones are used for fire rescue, coast guard, law enforcement, and other commercial applications. The company also provides general parts & accessories as well as repair and support services. The company is one of the major players in the “Ready to Fly” drone sector. Yuneec is specialized in the development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for the aerial photography role.

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PrecisionHawk manufactures drones, software, and drone safety solutions for applications in the agriculture, utilities, oil and gas, insurance, construction, and government sectors.   PrecisionHawk’s drones come with flight software that enables basic drone and sensor operations. For advanced mapping and analytics, such as for use with PrecisionAnalytics, these drones are compatible with a variety of commercial drone flight software.

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3D Robotics designs and manufactures commercial and recreational UAVs. It has an engineering facility in San Diego, California, and a manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico. The company carries out its business through a chain of retailers across the world. 3D Robotics provides both, hardware as well as software in the commercial UAV market. The company offers its products for various applications, such as agriculture, photography, construction, search & rescue operations, and ecological study, among others. Solo drones offered by 3D Robotics with the Site Scan feature help farmers and agronomists make informed business decisions and precisely target action in the field, resulting in improved returns. The company’s products cater to industries like construction, mining, surveying & inspection, and government organizations.

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Action Drone offers UAS solutions and business expansion plans, with their modular industrial drones. The company operates collaboratively with real-time industrial specialists, who comprehend the needs of their industry so that they can assimilate drone technology and processes flawlessly into their specific missions. The company also offers institutional education and training services with custom produced industrial to small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).

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Aeronautics is one of the prime manufacturers of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Israel. The company offers its products & services to defense, homeland security, and civil applications. The company has an in-house research & development department that works on proprietary flight control software, innovative navigation, communications, and security interfaces, among others, for unmanned aerial systems. It also offers training and support services to its customers. Its UAV products have combat experience in the conflict zones of Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chad, among others. The company’s Orbiter family is considered among the top products in the small UAVs market.

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AguaDrone has developed the only wireless Sonar Pod that is capable of sending out a wireless signal to the smartphone or tablets that quickly turns the drone into a Fish Finder. It is 100% waterproof and is capable of landing in and taking off from fresh and saltwater. The drone is armed with exclusive change pod accessories that allow users to shuffle from one pod to the next with just a twist of the wrist. The AguaDrone’s current accessory pods include:

  • The Find Pod, a sonar fish finder that delivers sonar images to the handheld devices via Wi-Fi
  • The Fish Pod, that is capable of carrying the lure to the fish remotely via the drone
  • The Film Pod, a waterproof camera that clicks images from the air or under water
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Airbus is a pioneer in the development of stratospheric unmanned aerial vehicles. Unmanned aircraft systems for defense and commercial uses are available from Airbus Defense and Space. MALE UAV, micro UAV, and stratospheric UAV are among the company's UAV products. The corporation has final assembly lines for airplanes and helicopters throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

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Airobotics has created a platform that is completely automated, industrial grade, on-demand and multi-purpose. The company has created an automatic, on-demand solution for gathering airborne data in mining amenities without the logistics involved in drone operations. With precise clarity of the difficulties faced by seaports in trying to manage ground and sea traffic, and other operational tasks, the Airobotics solution links seaport operators straight with brief and actionable aerial data. Airobotics' automated platform also offers accurate aerial data for all the inspection and maintenance requirements for oil and gas facilities. Moreover, Airobotics' end-to-end solution delivers industrial facilities with limitless aerial data, providing various understandings to support operations throughout the site. 

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Alti Ascend UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) offers up to five times the endurance of competing systems. Alti Ascend expands the fleet of best in class endurance vertical take-off and landing, fixed, wing unmanned aircrafts. Alti Ascend flies for up to 6 hours and in a standard operating link range of up to 10 km. There are 3 Alti Ascent- Alti Ascend A is for agriculture & farming, Alti Ascend M is for mapping & photogrammetry, Alti Ascend S is for security & surveillance.

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Ascending Technologies has been acqiured by Intel. Intel Falcon 8+ UAV offered by Ascending technologies is a professional drone with V-Shaped design. This drone enhances commercial-grade drone vision with real-time air compensation and provides advanced performance standards and best safety for close mapping and inspection. Falcon 8+ drone is configured as a closed system with isolated onboard data storage that does not transmit data over the internet.
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AtlasPro UAV is an advanced drone designed by atlas dynamics. This represents a new generation of aerospace technology. AtlasPro UAV is a versatile, high-end platform that is easy to use. This drone is designed to serve the variety of industries as a working tool that saves lives, time and resources. The AtlasPro is a small, multi-rotor drone available for 24/7 readiness and drone operations. Its extended flight time is 50 minutes. This system has a highly durable, compact and light-weight carbon frame.

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Autel robotics is a part of Autel Autel Intelligent and it offers EVO which is a super cool drone. EVO is a very small solid drone with a strong 6700mAH battery life. EVO drone is compact and folding designed to go wherever the person adventure takes it. The camera quality of EVO drone is fabulous, it captures stunning snaps at 12 megapixels with a wide dynamic range for more details and color. EVO also offers the failsafe features letting the user know when the battery is low. EVO Lighting System provided by Autel Robotics is designed by Fox Fury Lighting Solutions. The EVO Lighting System is rapidly and easily attached using its purpose-built mounting harness and provides up to 200 lumens with 360° swivel. This is escorted by 3 hours of rechargeable battery life. This lighting system provides FAA regulations compliant with 5700K LEDs, which are weather influence resistant and most suitable for surveillance, emergency, and snaps/ video applications. The pack contains 2 FoxFury D3060 Lights, 1 Autel Robotics EVO Mounting Platform and 1 USB-C Charging Cable. EVO Neutral density filter is offered by Autel Robotics. It is generally used in imaging or laser applications where excessive light can be harmful or can cause damage to camera sensors. Neutral Density Filters are also ideal for prohibiting excessive light from causing inaccurate results in photometer applications. Photography skills can be taken to the next level with this 3 pack of Neutral Density (ND) Filters by Polar Pros. 

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Skeytech is an innovative drone designed by Azur Drones that is fully automatic and has been specially designed for safety and security. Without human intervention, it offers around the clock service and security. It can conduct automated take-off, and safe navigation based on live calculation functions and precise landing.

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Blade 720 Drone is a subsidiary of Horizon Hobby. It is an ultra-compact, lightweight and easy to fly drone that has all the major benefits of an expensive drone. It comes with predefined camera shots, such as the boomerang and the asteroid shot that allows even the least technical users to take professional quality footages. It enables users to capture 360-degree photos from the air and they can also replay all the highlights in HD slow motion. It is approximately the size of a large smartphone. It also has foldable propellers which allows these drones to fit comfortably in the pockets. It is an intuitive drone that has many anti-collision features installed.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The UAV market is projected at USD 19.3 billion in 2019 and is likely to reach USD 45.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.5% from 2019 to 2025. The rise in the procurement of military UAVs by defense forces worldwide is one of the most significant factors projected to drive the growth of the UAV market.
UAVs are being extensively used in various civil and commercial applications like photography, product delivery, and greenhouse emission monitoring and wildlife preservation. They are also being used in the agriculture, real estate, mining and oil and gas industries. UAVs are also being increasingly used by defense forces in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance activities, combat operations, and battle damage management.
With the incorporation of new technologies such as AI, sense and avoid systems, and cloud computing in UAVs, the demand for UAVs is expected to further increase. The incorporation of AI in UAVs is expected enhance their capabilities and enable them to carry out a number of activities such as take-off, navigation, data capture, data transmission etc. Powering drones will become more efficient with the incorporation of hydrogen.
In the USA, Commercial pilots are expected to follow the specifications of the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which contains passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to gain a Remote Pilot Certificate. Hobbyists are expected to follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. One of the rules is that if the drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g), then the users need to pay $5 to get it registered. In Europe, the European Union (EU) does not control the civilian use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) with a mass of 150 kg or less. These aircrafts are overseen by national rules accepted by the EU Member States. RPAs above the threshold of 150 kg fall within the directive of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In the UK, the limitations are still pretty upfront. Drones are included under English laws, including aviation laws, which are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). UAVs that weigh 20 kg or less are covered by articles 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order. Drones with cameras must not be flown within 150 meters of a jammed area in UK, or within 50 meters of a person, vessel, vehicle, or any other construction that is not under the pilot’s control. Any person using a drone for commercial purposes must attain a license from the CAA. In Australia, small commercial drone operators do not have to pay the current $1,400 in regulatory fees. All the landholders could fly drones of up to 25 kg on their properties without the any approvals.
The unmanned aerial vehicle ecosystem comprises of vendors, such as DJI, Parrot Drones SAS, Flir Systems Inc, Microdrones, Lockheed Martin Corpoation, Yuneec, Airbus S.A.S., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Boeing, Elbit Systems Ltd etc. It is a highly competitive and fragmented market with large number of public and private sector players operating in it. The increasing use of different types of UAVs in the military and commercial secotrs has fueled the growth of the market across the globe. Multiple strategies have been adopted by the key players operating in the market.
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