Solar-powered Drones Market: Introduction
- Solar-powered drones, also termed as solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are airborne vehicles that utilize solar energy for propulsion. These vehicles are piloted by operators by using remote control or autonomously by onboard computers.
- Currently, a very few countries are engaged in developing solar-powered drones and a limited number of end-users are procuring them. However, beneficial features of these drones coupled with their capability to cater to an extensive range of applications are likely to augment the demand for these drones in the next few of years.
Key Drivers of Solar-powered Drones Market:
- Increasing awareness regarding the use of solar energy and favorable initiatives toward promotion of renewable energy are major factors driving the global solar-powered drones market
- Moreover, increasing use of solar-powered drones for various security and surveillance activities across the globe is likely to fuel the demand for these drones in the next few years
- Reliable and high-speed Internet connectivity has become essential across the globe. It is currently limited to urban areas only. Initiatives taken by network providers to connect remote rural areas with high-speed Internet and expansion of the consumer base are expected to drive the global solar-powered drones market during the forecast period.
- However, high initial investments and lack of skilled professionals are major factors restraining the global solar-powered drones market
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Government & Defense Segment to Witness Attractive Opportunities
- The global solar-powered drones market can be segmented in terms of type, application, and region
- In terms of type, the global market can be classified into fixed-wing drones, multi-rotor drones, and others. The fixed-wing drones segment dominated the global solar-powered drones market in 2018. These drones are extensively used in military operations. Its aerodynamics allow the drone to be used for mapping urban and remote areas.
- Based on application, the global solar-powered drones market can be segmented into agriculture, energy, government & defense, telecommunication, and others. The government & defense segment dominated the global market in 2018, to owing to high usage of solar-powered drones in surveying and mapping.
North America to Hold a Major Share of Global Solar-powered Drones Market
- Based on region, the global solar-powered drones market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America dominated the global market in 2018 and the trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. High expenditure and technological advancements and the large number of deployments of UAVs are driving the market in the region. Demand for UAVs in the U.S. is very high, primarily for use in surveillance.
- The U.S. is also the largest manufacturer of unmanned systems across the world. Moreover, companies in the country are focusing on development of high-altitude pseudo-satellites (HAPSs) for enhancing connectivity.
- The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at the maximum CAGR during the forecast period. China, Japan, and Australia are major contributors, in terms of revenue, to the solar-powered drones market in Asia Pacific. Europe is expected to contribute significantly to the global solar-powered drones market during the forecast period.
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Key Players Operating in Global Solar-powered Drones Market:
The global solar-powered drones market is highly concentrated, with top manufacturers accounting for approximately 40%–45% share of the market. A few of the key players operating in the global solar-powered drones market are:
- AeroVironment, Inc.
- Airbus SE
- Silent Falcon UAS Technologies
- Sunlight Photonics Inc.
- Thales Group
- Titan Aerospace
- In January 2018, AeroVironment, Inc. entered into a joint venture with SoftBank Corp., a Japan-based telecommunications company, in order to develop a solar-powered, high-altitude long-endurance (HALE), unmanned aircraft for use in commercial operations
- In November 2016, Sunbirds launched SB4-Phoenix, a commercial solar drone that weighs 3 kilograms and that has a wingspan of 3 meters. SB4-Phoenix suitable for use in applications such as infrastructure surveillance and precision agriculture .
- BAE Systems and Prismatic, two U.K.-based aerospace firms, are developing a drone capable of remaining in the sky for an entire year. The drone can be described as a high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Called PHASA-35 (Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft-35), the drone would be fitted with lithium-ion batteries and ultra-lightweight gallium arsenide solar cells to allow it to remain at altitudes between 55,000 feet and 70,000 feet for up to 12 months. The battery of this drone is to be charged during the day by using solar power, which allows it to function throughout the night.
Global Solar-powered Drones Market: Research Scope
Global Solar-powered Drones Market, by Type
- Fixed-wing Drones
- Multi-rotor Drones
Global Solar-powered Drones Market, by Application
- Government & Defense
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