Satnews Daily
November 12th, 2015

NSR Sees Unmanned Aircraft Systems' Super Growth In A Decade To $3.4 Billion 

[Satnews]  NSR’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Satcom & Imaging Markets, 2nd Edition finds satellite communications for, and imagery from, UAS will grow to $3.4 billion in the next decade.  The anticipated market growth is tied to greater Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) needs; an increased government and international organization demand for UAS-based services supporting their growing need in the areas of homeland security, disaster management, and peace-keeping activities. Included in the NSR Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Satcom & Imaging Markets, 2nd Edition report is the first commercial small UAS (SUAS) imaging market forecast, which estimates while small at $200 million in 2014, SUAS imaging will experience explosive growth, more than doubling in the next ten years.
To date, the UAS industry has been primarily a government and military market, with ISR applications such as slow motion video in high definition driving Satcom bandwidth demand. And with the U.S. and NATO ramping up their military expenditures in the wake of armed conflicts in Syria and Libya, as well as rising tensions in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea, UAS will continue to play a key role in these turbulent times. Revenue generated from transponder capacity, primarily in FSS Ku-band, is expected to grow steadily at a CAGR of 8.8 percent for FSS transponders and 38.2 percent for GEO-HTS in Ku and Ka-bands. Civilian government applications of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAS are also expected to grow during the forecast period, but mostly in non-U.S. regions.
“As aspiring economic powers try to bridge the gap with the U.S. in their UAS capabilities and inventory, the result of this race for military dominance will act like a win-win situation for UAS manufacturers and Satcom services providers,” said Prateep Basu, NSR Analyst and report author. “Apart from government applications, commercial UAS imaging applications hold a lot of growth promise, especially in the entertainment industry and public works.  These markets’ need for UAS slowly materializes as the world adopts regulations for safe UAS flights in civilian airspace,” he added.
The trend of using bandwidth-hungry applications such as live, slow-motion videos from UAS is expected to persist, leading to steady demand for Satcom as the world continues to reel with terrorism and military actions by some States, making the Defense & Intelligence vertical market the major revenue generator for the satellite industry in this ‘Game of Drones’.