The global Earth observation drones market was valued at $9,014.6 million in 2021, and it is estimated to reach $18,214.9 million by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.88% during the forecast period 2022-2032. The major factor driving the market growth is expected to be the growing adoption of drones for industrial and commercial applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the adoption of drones for commercial applications such as solar panel inspections, pipeline inspections, oil and gas field monitoring, and agriculture monitoring witnessed a significant rise. Civil-government agencies have also started adopting drones for applications such as border surveillance, civilian monitoring, disaster management, etc.
Read Report Overview: Earth Observation Drones Market
During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the use of drones by commercial and civil-government end-users witnessed a significant rise. To comply with the pandemic regulations, many governments and commercial and industrial agencies had to suspend manned inspections and monitoring and rely on drone operations. This gave a significant push to the Earth observation drones market. Additionally, technological advancements and increasing demand for drones from various end-users led to the development of drones that weigh as low as 200 to 500 grams and cost less (around $150 to $500). Companies across the drone industry are developing hi-tech sensors to equip drones such that they can provide analytical data and statistics for everyday critical operations. Moreover, companies are increasing their focus on developing long-endurance drones that can fly at higher altitudes for hours on a stretch.
Emerging applications, such as site inspection, monitoring, aerial patrolling, cinematography, and emergency response, are some of the areas where drones are being used extensively. Moreover, newer technologies, such as the integration of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), are expected to support the growth of drones over the 2022-2032 forecast period.
Recent Developments in the Earth Observation Drones Market
- In April 2022, ideaForge Technology Private Limited completed a Series B funding round of $20 million led by Florintree. The existing investors of the company Celesta Capital, a prominent deep tech investment fund, Infosys, Qualcomm, and Infina, along with the Exim Bank of India, also participated. The company aims to utilize this funding for team expansions, research and development, and extending its reach internationally.
- In March 2022, the Australian Government contracted Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd to deliver the new Tactical Integrator Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to the Australian Army under LAND129 Phase 3. The contract includes delivery, initial support of the UAS and associated ground systems, and prime systems integrator services. The delivery is expected to run through 2023 and 2024.
- In January 2022, Azur Drones secured funding of nearly $9 million from a private French investor. This funding will support the company’s development in 2022 as the company aims to introduce new solutions in the areas of industrial inspection, gas detection, and quantification, as well as accelerate its international growth.
- In January 2022, the world's first “Sea-Air Integrated Drone” was disclosed during a flight showcase at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama by Japanese telecommunications company KDDI, Prodrone Co., Ltd, and QYSEA.
- In August 2021, Shield AI secured $210 million in a Series D funding round, which was led by Disruptive, a U.S.-based late-stage technology investor, with participation from multiple top-tier venture funds, including Point72 Ventures. The company aims to accelerate its plans for growth across the defense and commercial industries.
North America to Dominate Earth Observation Drones Market Over the Forecast Period
Owing to the increasing demand for Earth observation drones from civil government and military end-users. The North America region has two key countries driving the growth, i.e., the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., Earth observation drones are gaining significant traction for agriculture monitoring, border management, and critical infrastructure inspection, while in Canada, the usage of drones for environmental monitoring and surveillance is accelerating market growth.
The competitive landscape of the Earth observation drones market consists of several organic and inorganic strategies followed by the key players to increase their market share. The strategies include product innovations, contracts, partnerships, acquisitions, and business expansions, among others.
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Some of the key players in the Earth observation drones market include DJI, Parrot Drone SAS, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Hubsan, Evolve Dynamics, AgrowSoft LLC, Gryphone Dynamics, Asteria Aerospace Limited, Atmos UAV, Drone Volt, Novadem, Teledyne FLIR LLC, Wingtra AG, Yuneec International, Ehang, and Insitu Inc. These companies are aiming for a wide range of partnerships, collaborations, agreements, and contracts to expand their operations and increase their market presence globally to generate revenues and attract new customers.