Best Umanned Aerial VehiclesUnmanned 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
- Parrot Drones SAS
- FLIR System Inc
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
- Northrop Grumman Corporation
- Airbus S.A.S.
- Elbit Systems Ltd.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Medium Altitude Long Endurance - Medium-altitude long endurance UAVs operate at an altitude of 14,000 meters and weigh around 1,500 kilograms.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Search and Rescue Missions
- 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.
- 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:
- Sowing seeds: Planting seeds, along with nutrients to sustain them, is likely to become a common mainstream practice
- 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:
- Employees monitoring.
- Show customers an aerial look of construction progress.
Aerial Delivery & Shipping
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Amongst the initial uses of personal quadcopters and drones was from real estate agencies as a publicity tool for listing homes.
- 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.
- 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 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 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Singapore plans to use drones for tasks like parcel delivery, inspecting buildings and providing security.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market perform in the future?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.
What are the major applications of UAV?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.
What are the future UAV technologies?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.
What are the regulations that impact the global UAV market?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.
What is the competitive landscape in the market?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.
Best Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
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Customised Quadrant For This Market
Comparing 64 vendors in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles across 144 criteria.
APIDOne drone designed by Cybaero is based on the concept of providing an aerial sensor system with intelligent aerodynamic properties and wonderful adaptability to the unique needs of clients. Its ergonomic design makes it easy to operate. This drone is a complete system consisting of a platform and numerous payloads. APIDOne gives the opportunity to customize the systems as per the needs of clients.
CyberHawk Innovations provides Drone Inspection and Surveys and software services. The company provides drone inspection and surveillance services to the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical, Power Generation, transmission and Distribution and Infrastructure and Land Survey industries. The company also provides a software called ‘iHawk’ that delivers Asset Integrity and Visualization capabilities.
The custom Draganfly M600 Pro AG is a UAV designed by Draganfly Innovations. Draganfly M600 Pro AG UAV package promotes an executive integrated dual payload system with the Phase One 100MP and MicaSense Multispectral cameras on the easy-to-fly DJI Matrice 600 Pro. The user can cover approximately 2.5 acres with an estimated GSD of 0.049 inches (1.3mm) at 50 feet AGL. The Draganfly pro AG is compatible with the DJI GO app, which gives a live HD view, battery status, and more, straight from the app. The Draganfly M600 pro AG has been built with high-grade aerial photography and cinematography in mind. It also has the potential to fulfill the needs of many other commercial drone applications. Besides, Draganfly Innovations provides Draganflyer Guardian, Draganflyer Commander, Draganflyer XP-4, and Dragnfly Tango2 UAVs.
DroneSense is a drone software platform. The main software provided by DroneSense are OPS Center, AIRBASE and Pilot. OPS Center is having unprecedented collaboration, it gives all stakeholders the power to strategize and tactically collaborate regardless of network connectivity by sharing real-time views of a scene with minimal latency from any connected device. Everyone with a smart device can see a live pilot session, and multiple drone pilots can work together seamlessly. Incident commanders can task pilots directly by assigning waypoints or search areas with a simple touch of their live video feeds.
The ECA Group is a subsidiary of Groupe Gorge and it develops products for both, the defense and civil applications. It offers its products in the areas of energy, defense, simulation, shipping, aeronautics, and industrial equipment. The company operates through business segments such as aerospace, robotics, and simulation solutions. The robotics division designs and manufactures autonomous and remote-controlled surfaces, aerial, and underwater vehicles. The company’s mini unmanned aerial vehicles are used in the aerospace, defense & security, energy, and industrial sectors. These mini UAVs application areas include civil protection, image intelligence, inspection, surveillance, and surveying, among others.
Elbit is best known for its wide range of airborne, ground, and marine systems and equipment for military, homeland security, and commercial aviation. Military aircraft and helicopter systems, commercial aviation systems and aerostructures, and unmanned aircraft and unmanned surface boats are all manufactured within the company's airborne systems section.
Embention provides autonomous operating and control systems and devices for drones. Veronte Autopilot a miniaturized high dependability astronautics system for advanced management of pilotless systems. This system embeds a progressive suite of sensors and processors in conjunction with LOS and BLOS M2M datalink radio, all with reduced size and weight. It is designed to manage any pilotless vehicle, either craft such as multirotor, helicopters, airplanes, VTOL, blimps… in addition to ground vehicles, surface vehicles or several others.
Embention also offers the following products: UAV Autopilot, Pipe Software, Veronte Tracker, Accessories, Payloads, Control Stations.
Elios 2 is confined space drone powered by the Flyability. Elios 2 drone is designed for the Mining industries like oil & Gas, Chemicals & Maritime, and Energy when it comes to exploring underground and adds an increased level of safety and access to visual information. Visible and thermal cameras and an LED lighting system to provide illumination in dark spaces are included in Elios 2 drone. It also offers Elios drone. It is surrounded by a protective cage. The Elios was specifically developed as a flying platform capable of entering confined and cluttered environments. The Flyability Elios drone is equipped with a thermal camera, full HD Camera, and an onboard LED lighting system with remotely adjustable intensity. Once the user has reached the most inaccessible places, they have all the tools on board to take the best possible shots in nearly any lighting conditions.
X8 Drone is a super cool product designed by Flydeo that can fly for 70 minutes and can lift up to 9 kg. To assure the lowest weight to making the body from carbon fiber, X8 is one of the quietest droneS in the market. Silence is the specialty of X8. It monitors the battery automatically.
The ALTA 8 from Freefly is an octo-rotor configuration UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) for aerial cinematography. Designed to work at the side of a Mo VI gimbal (available one at a time), the ALTA 8 supports payloads up to 20 kilos, making it the best for modern lightweight cinema cameras. The ALTA 8 permits the gimbal to be mounted above, in addition to below, the aircraft, enabling "sky view" pictures.
GD 120X Ready to fly drone is a heavy lift system designed to be utilized in film sets, industrial inspection, and other applications. This product is a reliable, well-designed system that can carry extremely heavy payloads flawlessly. GD 120X carries heavy payloads with an impressive maximum take-off weight of 145kg. GD 120X has a maximum power to weight ratio. This allows all main components to simply plug in thereby reducing wiring and potential failure and allow ease of installation.
Carrier H4 Hybrid Drone designed by Harris Aerial is a heavy-lift gas-electric hybrid drone equipped with the H2000 generator yielding 2.0kw max power and 1.8kw max continuous power. This drone is capable of performing significantly better than other ones in the market. It can fly steadily carrying a payload weighing nearly 10 pounds for more than 2 hours.
Hexo+ creates drones purely for photography purposes. The drone allows users to build high quality videos of themselves from above, with the help of their smartphones. The company has united a fast and responsive drone, a 3-axis gimbal, predictive tracking algorithms and a camera movement packed mobile app to help users in creating seamlessly framed and stabilized aerial images.
Hubsan offers a number of drones like F22 Standard Edition, H216 X4 desire Pro, H501m X4, Zino Pro, and Zino. F22 Standard Edition is a wonderful drone offered by Hubsan. It is shaped like a fighter jet body. It is easy to control and is capable of Auto take off. This aircraft automatically glides and rises to 20 meters to hover with the control button automatic takeoff. It also battles in the air like a fighter jet.
Industrial Skyworks works have designed BlueVu UAV Software. BlueVu Drone Software produces better drone inspection results. This UAV software delivers faster and better insights into assets by using an image optimization engine. BlueVu UAV Software automatically organizes, analyzes and selects the best inspection images and viewpoints. BlueVu UAV Software is a leader in drone inspection and data management software for buildings, and oil and gas infrastructure. It allows users to carry out drone inspection safely and identify problems early, cost effectively.
Kespry’s drone-based aerial intelligence platform delivers precise information and analytics. The platform has been purpose-built for industrial use, yet simple enough for any user. Their fully-integrated, end-to-end, cloud-enabled platform is also used across aggregates, construction, insurance, mining, and roofing companies across North America, Europe and Australia. The company allows processing industries such as Oil and Gas, Chemical, Pulp and Paper, Power and others with the most precise and easy to use drone-based solution for daily and frequently arranged site checkups. The company also offers a comprehensive solution for construction and engineering companies to better manage proposed and active earthwork operations.
SkyProwler VTOL Transformer UAV designed by Krossblade Aerospace System is a pro-grade transformer drone for the quick and efficient winged cruise that takes off like a multicopter, capable of vertical take-off and landing. It is made up of a carbon fiber body and can fly around twice as long as other multicopters with the same battery charge. It is ideal for long-range, high speed and long duration flights.
Matternet M2 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is an end to end drone solution platform which provides a service to healthcare, logistics organization, and e-commerce. It is capable of handling a payload of 2kg & 4liter over a distance of up to 20 km. Matternet M2 is designed to operate all around the people and infrastructure with industrial environments.
Microdrone is one of the leading producers of unmanned aerial vehicles and integrated systems. The company’s integrated systems include sensors, software, and payloads. It is also one of the principal manufacturers of quadcopter drones for professional applications in Germany. The company’s products have the ability to function in industrial verticals such as mapping, surveying, inspection, mining, construction, agriculture, public safety, science, and academic research, among others. The company has in-house research & development facilities and also offers sales and service for professional drones.
Planck's UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is built to enable workers and security personnel to take gain of the benefits of the aerial drone system. It is vision-based navigation software involving push button take off and precision landing. It offers long-endurance surveillance critical protection, safety, and long-range communication relays. This system assures that the tethered UAV has an essential footprint so they can be placed on trucks and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV).
SD25 is a high-performance drone designed by sicdrone. It is highly optimized for performing operations in a challenging environment. SICdrone25 is perfect for energy asset surveys and inspections for wind farms and pipelines anywhere in the world, including offshore and harsh environments. SICdrone25 will be a major part for the inspections and maintenance of the immense structure of clean energy that is rapidly expanding. SICdrone25 provides police and military assistance during dangerous conditions by intercept unidentified drones quickly. Sicdrone25 captures photos and videos with state of the art multi-camera systems for professional and photographers.
SkyCatch provides 1,000s of DJI drones with autonomous surveying tech for construction giant Komatsu. The products offered by SkyCatch are Skycatch Sync1 camera System, Skycatch Air1 onboard computer system, Edge1, and Explore1. The Explore 1 drone is on the DJI Matrice M100 airframe and flight controller, the most trusted commercial drone platform. Explore 1 is designed by Skycatch and it has the ability to fly without setting down GCPs and saves a lot of time, especially on big sites.
The Skydio 2 Drone developed by Skydio is a powerful Drone with unheard-of autonomy. Skydio 2 drone can fly autonomously at speed through complex environments in challenging real-world conditions and it allows users to capture the kind of video that would be otherwise impossible even for professionals. Skydio 2 is made out of magnesium, which is both heavier and more rigid and durable than plastic. It delivers the easiest and most intuitive flight experience.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) designs, develops, modernizes, manufactures, and integrates life cycle support of integrated aerospace systems, including fixed-wing and rotary-wing air platforms, UAVs, and satellites. The company develops tactical surveillance drones, short-range tactical ISTAR drone, high-speed target drone, MALE UAV, and UCAV, among others. The company has a UAV manufacturing facility in Ankara, Turkey. This is a technologically advanced facility that provides manufacturing, assembly, and testing of products.
Wing Pro U29Plus-G FPV drone is suitable for beginners to use GPS positioning. This system has a built-in 1080P Wi-Fi camera and a 2.4 GHz two-way communication technology. This means the flight is more powerful and reliable. The image quality is much better with a control range of 200-400 meters. In Wing Pro U29Plus-G FPV drone, one-button says return and the other button is of take-off/landing function that makes flying easier. The drone flies automatically according to the specified route just by setting the waypoint location on the map in UDIGPS.