Earth Observation Drones Market - A Global and Regional Analysis: Focus on Application, End User, Drone Type, Sensor Type, and Country - Analysis and Forecast, 2022-2032

Jul 2022| BIS660A| BIS Research

Report Highlights

Global Earth Observation Drones Market to Reach $18,214.9 Million by 2032

Market Segmentation:

Segmentation 1: by Application

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Disaster Management
  • Surveying and Mapping
  • Search and Rescue
  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Industrial Inspection and Monitoring
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Cinematography

For the 2021-2032 period, the global Earth observation drones market is expected to be dominated by the surveillance and reconnaissance application segment.

Segmentation 2: by End-User

  • Military
  • Civil Government
  • Commercial

Based on end-user, the Earth observation drones market is expected to be dominated by commercial end-users. Commercial end-users are expected to garner significant share and growth as government regulations have become more relaxed and drones continue to be cheaper. Moreover, the need for technologically advanced tools in the farming, agricultural, and energy sectors will further generate demand for drones from the commercial end.

Segmentation 3: by Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Rest-of-the-World

During the forecast period, North America is expected to dominate the Earth observation drones market (by region). The significant presence of key companies engaged in manufacturing Earth observation drones, sensors-related accessories, and repair services is a major factor attributing to the region's growth. A higher number of collaborations between drone manufacturers, sensor manufacturers, analytics providers, and start-ups is another factor driving the market growth. An increasing number of start-ups and emerging players and higher research and development investments by key players in the market are also contributing to the market growth.

Recent Developments in the Earth Observation Drones Market

  • In April 2022, ideaForge Technology Private Limited completed a Series B funding round of $20 million led by Florintree. The existing investors of the company Celesta Capital, a prominent deep tech investment fund, Infosys, Qualcomm, and Infina, along with the Exim Bank of India, also participated. The company aims to utilize this funding for team expansions, research and development, and extending its reach internationally.
  • In March 2022, the Australian Government contracted Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd to deliver the new Tactical Integrator Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to the Australian Army under LAND129 Phase 3. The contract includes delivery, initial support of the UAS and associated ground systems, and prime systems integrator services. The delivery is expected to run through 2023 and 2024.
  • In January 2022, Azur Drones secured funding of nearly $9 million from a private French investor. This funding will support the company’s development in 2022 as the company aims to introduce new solutions in the areas of industrial inspection, gas detection, and quantification, as well as accelerate its international growth.
  • In January 2022, the world's first “Sea-Air Integrated Drone” was disclosed during a flight showcase at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama by Japanese telecommunications company KDDI, Prodrone Co., Ltd, and QYSEA.
  • In August 2021, Shield AI secured $210 million in a Series D funding round, which was led by Disruptive, a U.S.-based late-stage technology investor, with participation from multiple top-tier venture funds, including Point72 Ventures. The company aims to accelerate its plans for growth across the defense and commercial industries.

Demand - Drivers and Limitations

Following are the drivers for the Earth Observation Drones market:

  • Increase in Demand for Drones Post COVID-19
  • Entry of Multiple Downstream Geospatial Service Providers
  • Increasing Utilization of Drone Imagery Along with Satellite Imagery for Enhanced Geospatial Intelligence
  • Increasing Need for On-Demand Aerial Survey Requirements

Following are the challenges for the Earth Observation Drones market:

  • Government Regulations for Drone Manufacturing and Sales
  • Need for Qualified Operators to Conduct Drone Imaging Missions
  • Impact of Russia-Ukraine Conflict on Commercial Industry
  • Drone Batteries Supply Chain Shortage

Following are the opportunities for the Earth Observation Drones market:

  • Integration of Artificial Intelligence in Drones and Imagery Analytics
  • Growing Adoption of Earth Observation Drones by Civil Government

How can this report add value to an organization?

Product/Innovation Strategy: The product section will help the reader understand the different solutions for the Earth observation drones market, such as the type of drones and sensors available for various applications, including surveying, monitoring, and inspection. It will also help the readers understand the global potential of different solutions in the Earth observation drones market. The players operating in these markets are developing innovative offerings and are deeply engaged in long-term agreements and contracts with commercial and government agencies. Moreover, the study also examines the investment scenario in the research and development of the Earth observation drones market.

Growth/Marketing Strategy: The players operating in the Earth observation drones market are engaged in several strategies, including strategic partnerships, contracts, agreements, and business expansion. The marketing strategies will help the readers understand the revenue-generating strategies adopted by the drone manufacturing players operating in the Earth observation drones market.

For instance, on 5 April 2022, the Indian drone manufacturer, ideaForge Technology Private Limited, partnered with PV Lumens LLP, a distributor of security, connectivity, and productivity solutions in India, to distribute drones across the country. Additionally, on 10 March 2022, SAFE (National Security Services Company) and Azur Drones entered a strategic partnership for drone-as-a-service solutions in Saudi Arabia and MENA. As part of the agreement, Azur Drones will develop capabilities for the local assembly of autonomous drones in Saudi Arabia.

On 23 February 2022, Plymouth Rock Technologies Inc. was awarded a contract to deliver beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones to the Norfolk Constabulary in Norfolk, U.K. The deliveries were expected to be completed by April 2022. Moreover, on 5 February 2021, DJI entered a partnership with Shell Oil Company to create, test, and deploy DJI drone technology at its Deer Park Manufacturing Complex. This partnership was expected to improve efficiency and worker safety during industrial inspections and emergency incident response.

Competitive Strategy: The study has analyzed and profiled the key drone manufacturers, start-ups, and emerging players in drone manufacturing in the global Earth observation drones market. These companies capture the maximum share in the global Earth observation drones market. Moreover, a detailed competitive benchmarking of the companies and organizations operating in the Earth observation drones market has been carried out, which will help the reader to understand the performance of the players, exhibiting a clear market landscape. In addition to this, comprehensive competitive strategies such as partnerships, agreements, and collaborations will aid the reader in understanding the untapped revenue pockets in the market.


During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the use of drones by commercial and civil-government end-users witnessed a significant rise. To comply with the pandemic regulations, many governments and commercial and industrial agencies had to suspend manned inspections and monitoring and rely on drone operations. This gave a significant push to the Earth observation drones market. Additionally, technological advancements and increasing demand for drones from various end-users led to the development of drones that weigh as low as 200 to 500 grams and cost less (around $150 to $500). Companies across the drone industry are developing hi-tech sensors to equip drones such that they can provide analytical data and statistics for everyday critical operations. Moreover, companies are increasing their focus on developing long-endurance drones that can fly at higher altitudes for hours on a stretch.

Emerging applications, such as site inspection, monitoring, aerial patrolling, cinematography, and emergency response, are some of the areas where drones are being used extensively. Moreover, newer technologies, such as the integration of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), are expected to support the growth of drones over the 2022-2032 forecast period.

Earth Observation Drones Market Overview

The global Earth observation drones market was valued at $9,014.6 million in 2021, and it is estimated to reach $18,214.9 million by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.88% during the forecast period 2022-2032. The major factor driving the market growth is expected to be the growing adoption of drones for industrial and commercial applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the adoption of drones for commercial applications such as solar panel inspections, pipeline inspections, oil and gas field monitoring, and agriculture monitoring witnessed a significant rise. Civil-government agencies have also started adopting drones for applications such as border surveillance, civilian monitoring, disaster management, etc.

Market Lifecycle Stage

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have been used by the military for defense applications such as surveillance, reconnaissance, and situational awareness. The earliest traces of drones date back to 1917, the World War I period when radio control techniques were used to develop the unnamed aerial system. From 1995 onwards, drones for military applications started gaining traction as the U.S. Air Force developed and used the MQ-1 Predator drone, which cost approximately $40 million apiece for surveillance, reconnaissance, and combat applications in conflict zones.

Over 90 years of research and development on drones by military agencies steered the path for the development of the first drone for non-military applications by 2006. In the same year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its first commercial drone permit. Following this, government agencies began testing drone technologies for public safety applications, such as disaster relief, environmental monitoring, and border surveillance. At the same time, the commercial market started adopting drones for industrial applications such as pipeline inspections, site monitoring, and agriculture evaluation.

At present, utilizing drones for various Earth observation applications such as surveying, mapping, inspections, and surveillance, as well as collecting analytical geospatial data, is advancing at a substantial pace. The related drone services and manufacturing businesses are mushrooming as well. This is owing to the capabilities of drones to collect large volumes of geospatial data more efficiently, quickly, and cost-effectively as compared to satellite imagery.

Key Market Players and Competition Synopsis

The companies profiled in the study have been selected based on inputs gathered from primary experts and analysis of the companies’ product portfolios, key developments, and market penetration.

In 2021, the players leading the market included the established players providing Earth observation drones and related hardware, which constituted 60.4% of the presence in the market. The emerging-market participants included start-up entities that accounted for approximately 39.6% of the presence in the market.

Some prominent established names in this market are:

  • Company Type 1: Key Earth Observation Drones Manufacturers
    • DJI
    • Parrot Drone SAS
    • Lockheed Martin Corporation
    • AeroVironment, Inc.
    • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
    • Northrop Grumman Corporation
    • Embention
    • Hubsan
    • INSITU
    • AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc.
    • Autel Robotics
    • Ehang
    • Raytheon Technologies Corporation
    • Drone Volt S.A.
    • Plymouth Rock Technologies
  • Company Type 2: Emerging Market Participants
    • Wingtra AG
    • Eagletronics Aviation Private Limited
    • Skydio
    • Anduril Industries
    • Azur Drones

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