What is UAV Payload ?
UAV payload is the external weight a drone carries, irrespective of its mass. The weight comprises anything attached to the drone like extra sensors and cameras. Apart from the sensors, payloads also include cargo that need to be transported like medicines, meals, parcels and heavy materials (fire extinguishers, etc.). UAVs like remote-controlled airplanes or helicopters are also gaining popularity for recreation& entertainment.
Increasing investment in research and development and technological innovations in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles causes boom in UAV payload Sector.
The driving factors for UAV payload market include rising need for mapping services and increased use of aerial imaging services in several industries across globe. Moreover, the acceptance of drone payload components like HD action cameras, thermal sensors, laser sensors, motion sensors, infrared sensors, CBRN sensors have increased substantially in recent years in the defense and military activities for electronic intelligence (Elint), (SIGINT) signal intelligence and surveillance. Drones are also widely being used for green mapping and crop management, which has propelled the demand for payloads in environment and agriculture sectors.
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Growing concerns like personal safety and fluctuations in aviation regulations in stipulated regions are hampering the growth of UAV payload industry. Besides, the market is expected to witness lucrative opportunities due to progressing market for location based facilities. UAV payload market is also strongly driven by increasing demand for UAVs (drones). This can be attributed to invention of newer technologies like next generation of unmanned combat devices and advancement of markets like consumer and civil drones. Despite technological advancements, UAV market is witnessing major challenges in terms of (SWaP) size, weight, and power. Hence, high performing components installed in UAVs, need hardware platform to overcome these challenges.
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UAV payload industry is categorized on the basis of components and geography. On the basis of components, the market is divided into radar & communications, weaponry, cameras & sensors, and others. Weaponry segment is predicted to grow considerably in the forecast period owing to rising adoption of UAVs in defense and military activities worldwide. Other payload devices are expected to experience steady growth rate in the coming years.
Geographically, UAV Payload market is segmented as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa. North America (United States) spends heavily in UAV payload industry with significant expenditure for improving radar and communication abilities. Asia Pacific and Europe are also expected to dominate due to the rising investments in weaponry payloads and sensors & detection. The prominent players in UAV payload industry comprise AeroVironment, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, L-3 WESCAM, Rheinmetall, Thales, SAAB, General Dynamics, FLIR Systems, BAE Systems, Elbit Systems, Denel Dynamics, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.(GA-ASI), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and AAI Corporation.