Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent a $30 billion opportunity for satcom and imaging


NSR’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Satcom and Imaging Markets, 5th Edition report, released today, projects a cumulative revenue opportunity of nearly $30 B over the 2017-2027 period for satellite communications and commercial UAS imaging & analytics services. Largely driven by satcom revenues, it is an accelerating market where Government & Military end-users lead as adoption rates of UAS platforms rise globally. “The Government & Military sector’s demand for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) over conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions is still a big driver for this market, and increasingly for unmanned combat systems,” states Shivaprakash Muruganandham, NSR Analyst and report author. “UAS based imaging/analytics services, on the other hand, offer significant cost-savings to businesses in comparison to alternatives, but regulations remain a key challenge to be addressed in the near-term,” he adds. As adoption rises, the market for UAS airframes, and consequently satcom terminals & capacity demand, is expected to grow as more countries enter UAS export markets. This is pushed by the USA, China, and other countries in the Middle East and Asia. This creates opportunities for satellite communication network operators, service providers, and satcom equipment manufacturers; especially within the Defense & Intelligence communities where Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) airframes are steering the market. High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) platforms also continue to push the boundaries of capacity demand per platform. More countries and public authorities adopting UAS for peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts and border control/homeland security will guide demand in the civilian government segment. For smaller-sized UAS, the primary application in the commercial domain is imaging, fueled by the needs of the increasingly digitalized energy sector, and industrial inspection/surveying applications. Much of this demand is expected to arise from North America, Europe and Asia, where established regulatory practices, premium clients and high demand drive a market that is expected to shift towards downstream analytics services going forward.


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