Small UAS market to top $8.4bn by 2019

The Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) market will top US$8.4 billion by 2018 according to new research published by ABI Research.

The report titled Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Solutions Ecosystem indicates that by 2019 the commercial sector will dominate the overall sUAS market with revenues exceeding US$5.1 billion (a compound annual growth rate of 51 per cent between 2014 and 2019), roughly 5 times greater than the ‘prosumer’/hobby market, and 2.3 times greater than the military/civil market segment.

Moreover, it is application services—industry specific applications, as well as data, operator and modelling services—and not platforms and other hardware technologies, which will be the key driver for the growth of the commercial sector.

Ongoing research advancements, technological developments, and rapidly dropping prices for increasingly capable enabling technologies, have combined to remove barriers to innovation and commercialisation, and spur the development of new sUAS and increase the ways they can be applied.

For the study, the sUAS market was not defined by, or limited to, the unmanned aerial system platforms and airframes alone, but also includes other technologies, products and services that are ancillary to, and often necessary for, the use of small unmanned vehicles, along with the many applications enabled by them.

According to Dan Kara, practice director, robotics, at ABI Research: “The commercial sector is the sweet spot for the sUAS market, a fact recognised by both traditional defence industry suppliers such as Elbit Technologies, AeroVironment, and Aeryon Labs, as well as providers to the prosumer/hobbyist marketplace including DJI, Parrot, SenseFly, 3D Robotics, and others.

As a result, both groups of sUAS makers, along with other classes of solution providers, are aggressively targeting the commercial sector through acquisitions, internal development, partnerships and investment.

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