Who are the leading innovators in drone launching techniques for the aerospace and defence industry?

The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a source of innovation, with activity driven by the use of big data and artificial intelligence, and increasing importance of technologies such as machine learning and edge computing. In the last three years alone, there have been more than 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s Cloud in Aerospace, Defense and Security: Drones launch techniques report.

However, not all innovations are equal and they do not follow a constant upward trend either. Instead, their development takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical life cycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is in this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and acceleration stages, is essential to understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

180+ innovations will form the aerospace and defense industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which maps the S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry using innovation intensity models built on more than 262,000 patents, there are more than 180 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

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Within the emerging innovation stage, beamforming antennas, route guidance sensor networks, and V2V-enabled autonomous vehicles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Drone launch techniques, EV charging from smart grids and location-based web services are some of the speeding up innovative areas where adoption has steadily increased. between maturing innovative areas are indoor navigation systems and indoor positioning systems, which are now well established in the industry.

An innovative S-curve for cloud in the aerospace and defense industry

Drone launch techniques are a key innovation area in cloud

The launch period for UAVs is critical, fixed-wing UAVs need a minimum airspeed before take-off and large fixed-wing UAVs need a minimum runway length for take-off or landing. Small UAVs are easier to launch but there are improvements that can be made to improve launch efficiency.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patent activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming startups involved in the development and application of drone launch techniques.

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Main players in drone launch techniques – disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

“Application diversity” measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly divides firms into either “niche” or “diversified” innovators.

“Geographic reach” refers to the number of different countries in which each relevant patent is registered and reflects the scope of geographic application intended, ranging from “global” to “local”.

SZ DJI Technology has registered the largest number of patents on drone launch techniques. SZ DJI Technology manufactures a range of commercial drones for the consumer, agricultural and industrial sectors, and specializes in high quality cameras and software integration. Most of SZ DJI’s launch technologies have been developed to enable small portable drones to launch in various conditions and environments more reliably. The second most prominent patent applicant in this domain is KDDI, which specializes in the development of small commercial drones that can be used to inspect infrastructure and facilities. KDDI’s recent work in this field includes cloud-powered smart drone platforms that facilitate launches.

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In terms of application diversity, KDDI is the leading company due to the variety of industries in which its drones can be used, and Hitachi is in second place. In terms of geographical spread, SZ DJI Technology is first, followed by KDDI.

To further understand how cloud is disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest Topic Research Thematic Research report: Cloud Computing in Defense.


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