FACTS AT A GLANCE
Edition: 9; Released: February 2022
Executive Pool: 7599
Companies: 79 – Players covered include Asseco Poland SA; BAE Systems plc; Bluebird Aero Systems Ltd.; Elbit Systems; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.; Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI); Lockheed Martin Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Raytheon Technologies Corp.; Robosys Automation Ltd.; Textron Inc.; Thales Group; The Boeing Company; UAV Solutions and Others.
Coverage: All major geographies and key segments
Segments: Component (Hardware, Software); End-Use (Defense, Commercial)
Geographies: World; USA; Canada; Japan; China; Europe; France; Germany; Italy; UK; Rest of Europe; Asia-Pacific; Rest of World.
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Global UAV Ground Control Station Market to Reach $806.4 Million by 2026
UAVs or autonomously piloted aircrafts have been a major force in modern-day military applications and battlefield scenarios. With early generations of drones characterized by their large size and high cost, military agencies were the only ones to possess the specialized skills needed to operate these autonomous machines. In the past decade, UAVs have gradually transitioned from being expensive systems used solely by military agencies to an easily accessible commodity, which has opened up a slew of opportunities in the commercial space. Led by technology advancements over the years, accessibility and ease-of-use associated with drones has improved considerably, while costs have reduced substantially. As a result, drone technology is now emerging as a viable tool for individuals, government agencies, businesses and non-government organizations. Drones offer niche opportunities, allowing businesses to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Improvements in software and hardware is further simplifying the use of drones enabling greater autonomy in functions such as data collection, collision avoidance, pre-programmed flight routing, active tracking, and Bluetooth communication among others. UAVs support a comprehensive range of military applications including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
UAVs intended for scouting purpose feature sensors and digital cameras, and are extensively employed to survey a territory, capture geospatial data, provide visual assistance to troops, monitor ground activities, and deliver military supply or humanitarian aid in a cost-efficient manner. UAVs, designed for warfare, are termed as unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and carry aircraft ordnances for performing strikes and delivering payloads. Since combat drones are not operated by human pilots, they are less expensive and lighter in comparison to combat aircraft. The use of drones in military applications also reduces casualties associated with encounters or accidents. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for UAV Ground Control Station estimated at US$637 Million in the year 2022, is projected to reach a revised size of US$806.4 Million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% over the analysis period. Hardware, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record 5.1% CAGR and reach US$602.1 Million by the end of the analysis period. After a thorough analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Software segment is readjusted to a revised 6.5% CAGR for the next 7-year period.
The U.S. Market is Estimated at $263.6 Million in 2022, While China is Forecast to Reach $142.8 Million by 2026
The UAV Ground Control Station market in the U.S. is estimated at US$263.6 Million in the year 2022. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$142.8 Million by the year 2026 trailing a CAGR of 7% over the analysis period. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 4% and 4.5% respectively over the analysis period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 5.7% CAGR.
GCSs are indispensable part of operation intended to control UAVs used in a diverse spectrum of military and commercial applications. GCS encompasses sophisticated software and hardware components that allow users to remotely control and communicate with the UAVs. The control is achieved by setting configurations for direct control or autonomous operations of UAVs. Generally deployed near or in operating or battlefield zones, GCSs can be located at different controlled bases. The increasing dependence on UAVs in battlefield operations, weather monitoring, law enforcement, research and several other areas makes GCSs a perfect solution for efficient, flexible control and monitoring of these vehicles.
Operations of GCSs rely heavily on processing units represented by computers powered by high-performance processors or bespoke systems built around embedded computing platforms. These stations use wireless data link subsystems for remotely communicating with unmanned vehicles. There is a two-way transmission of commands, telemetry data and sensor data like imager, video and measurements between GCSs and unmanned vehicles. A GCS relies on cellular and digital or analog communication that holds an operational range of hundreds of kilometers. The station comes with single or multiple LED-powered anti-glare and high-brightness screens for easy view even in bright daylight. The user interface of GCSs is intended to display information such as instrument overlays, map screens, flight parameters and camera payload feeds. The station’s wireless data link communicates with control modules on unmanned vehicles for adjusting throttle and rotors. GCSs come with powerful computers for enabling operators of unmanned vehicles to install software for ensuring effective, compliant and safe operation. Moreover, GCSs feature different types of control systems such as joystick for aircraft or payload, mouse, keyboard and throttle controllers.
By End-Use, Defense Segment to Reach $721.9 Million by 2026
Global market for Defense (End-Use) segment estimated at US$530.8 Million is projected to reach US$721.9 Million by 2026 reflecting a compounded annual growth rate of 5.3% over the analysis period. The United States constitutes the largest regional market for Defense segment, accounting for 42.5% of the global sales. China is poised to register the fastest compounded annual growth rate of 6.7% over the analysis period, to reach US$134.8 Million by the close of the analysis period.
Susceptibility to Cyber Threats, a Major Challenge
As the use of UAVs becomes more widespread, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to their reliance on virtual cyber networks and embedded computational systems for their operation. Such cyber intrusion can result in information corruption, defective operation of the control loop and denial of service attacks. The lack of adequate cyber security protections exposes critical mission data to the potential risk of cybersecurity attacks. The increasing use of personal smart devices such as smartphones and tablets for sharing and receiving videos and images remotely from the UAV or the ground control station also introduces security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to gain access to networks and private data. The efficiency of the communication link between a UAV and the GCS is a key aspect in military applications, delivery services, and search and rescue operations. All the communication between the UAVs and ground station controller typically use the Wi-Fi network, which is vulnerable to security breaches. The use of an unencrypted Wi-Fi to communicate and control UAVs allows any individual to connect and hack. The two-way link between the ground station and the UAV is vulnerable to GPS spoofing attack. GPS enables a UAV’s navigation, and lack of encryption of the signals allows for a GPS-spoofing attack. In GPS spoofing, fake GPS coordinates are transmitted to the control system and allows the UAV to be hijacked and in complete control of the attacker. More
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