COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Drone Identification Systems is projected to reach US$45.4 billion by 2025, driven by the growing need for new rules, safety and security protocols as drones begin to swarm the modern skies. The era of small flying objects is close at hand with commercial applications of drones gaining new ground and momentum. Few of the emerging applications for commercial drone include use of drones for generating video tours for customers in real estate; drone based surveillance; drones for environmental monitoring; drones for oil & gas pipeline inspections; agricultural drones for crop spraying; drone based same-day delivery of e-commerce orders; drones for land surveying, search and rescue; drones for emergency response services; and drones for road construction and other infrastructure projects. Few of the factors helping make these applications a commercial reality include developments in drone hardware; rise of drones-as-a-service business models; new innovations in drone camera, vision systems and sensors; drone software platform development, data analytics and data management; and increased venture capital investments in drone technology. With falling costs, commercial and recreation uses of drones will grow further. As the number of drones flying in the sky, dangers and risks also rise in parallel. These include increased risk of collision with other aircraft; drones alias UAVs have a small form factor and low profile electromagnetic signature escapes traditional radar detection; increased use of drones for smuggling drugs across borders and for other illegal activities; development of weaponized drones and rise in drone terrorism and for reconnaissance which is already becoming a reality. Even for legalized uses, drone traffic management, drone flight permissions and monitoring system is paramount to safety.
To counter all of these risks, drone identification is becoming increasingly importance. Ability to remotely identify drones will ensure drones remain a safe addition to airspace; validate the purpose of drones and mitigate security concerns over anonymous flying; and for drone operators it will allow improved airspace access. Traditional technologies like acoustic sensors and radars are ineffective in detecting the low speed and low electromagnetic signature of small UAVs, and therefore need advanced technologies like infrared, radio frequency (RF) radars, optical surveillance, high power microwave (HPM) devices, and laser sensors fusion for detection and location positioning. Of late, increased frequency of security breaches by drones has pushed up the urgency of effective drone identification. In the year 2015, a drone crashed in front of the White House in Washington causing a security panic; in 2018, London's Gatwick airport came to a grinding halt after several airplanes were grounded due to unauthorized drones flying over the airfield. Unauthorized landing of drones has also been reported on critical infrastructures all over the world i.e. the Prime Minister of Japan's office, the Golden Gate Bridge, nuclear sites in France, and prison facilities, among others. Technologies capable of finding, tracking and alerting will score the highest gains in the coming years. Direct “Drone-to-Phone” is an interesting area of innovation in remote identification where smartphone users can track of airborne drones with the help of an app and W-Fi connection. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 76% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 76.1% over the analysis period supported by the country's cutting edge use of drones for transforming farming and pollution management. As the country cracks down on drone usage with new regulations, drone identification systems will grow in popularity.