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Drone Sensors Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Sensor Type (Inertial Sensors, Image Sensors, Speed & Distance Sensors, Position Sensors, Pressure Sensors, Ultrasonic Sensors, Altimeter Sensors, Current Sensors, Light Sensors, Others), By Application (Navigation, Data Acquisition, Collision Detection and Avoidance, Power Monitoring, Motion Detection, Air Pressure Measurement, Others), By Platform (Fixed-wing, Hybrid, VTOL), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: May 13, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102596



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The global drone sensors market size was USD 394.7 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with drone sensors witnessing a negative impact on demand across all the globe amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibits a higher growth of 20.25% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 394.7 million in 2020 to USD 2342.1 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 25.08% in the 2021-2028 period.


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The growing adoption of unmanned systems in commercial applications is likely to fuel the drone sensors market growth during the forecast period. Drone technology is continuously expanding its reach in various countries by maximizing the range of commercial applications of drones such as aerial photography, shipping, logistics & delivery, precision agriculture, and wildlife monitoring. Unmanned systems have broad use in industrial and civil applications owing to excellent imaging and security surveillance capabilities. These applications are possible owing to superior quality sensors that provide accurate information to the system for successful long-range flights. Unmanned systems are fully dependent on system sensors for correct decisions and successful flights. The system sensors mainly include inertial sensors, image sensors, speed & distance sensors, position sensors, pressure sensors, and other supportive sensors for correct decisions. The increasing demand for unmanned systems is projected to fuel market growth globally in the upcoming years. 

COVID-19 to Accelerate Demand for Drone Sensors

The covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people in more than 200 countries across the globe. The pandemic has disrupted several supply chains due to severe lockdown by various governments. These restrictions have affected the global economy and trade volume due to disturbing supply and demand. However, drone technology has become most useful in numerous applications to fight against the spread of the virus in public places. The drones were widely used for sanitization, medical transportation, blood sample delivery, and public monitoring. These factors increased the demand for drones in the commercial and government sector across the globe due to effective no-contact delivery. This, in turn, is projected to fuel market growth in the future.  


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Introduction of IoT, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to Drive Market Growth

Drone technology is gaining tremendous attention from various industrial sectors owing to its excellent capability for photography and surveillance. Most of the companies are focused on enhancing the capabilities of the sensors to attain superior functionality that will help in sensing various major factors for successful operations. Sensors are used for navigation, motion, and collision detection. These systems provide accurate information by sensing various parameters that are necessary for high altitude unmanned systems. Several companies are focused on developing smart sensors that can sense multiple parameters in one system such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, and rainfall. This integration of advanced technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence, is widely used for making new generation sensors. The increasing demand for autonomous drones across the globe in a broad range of industrial applications is projected to fuel market growth in the upcoming years.


High Adoption of Unmanned System Military Operations to Boost Demand for Advanced Sensors

Globally, the increasing adoption of the unmanned system in military operations, such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting, owing to excellent automated flight capabilities is projected to propel market growth in the next few years. Global military defense spending has surpassed USD 1.9 trillion in 2019 as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and it is growing regularly. This growth is credited to the rising need for new intelligence gathering and striking capabilities in unmanned systems.

The increase in procurement of UAVs in various countries to modernize the existing fleet and enhance military and defense capabilities for counter insurgencies, terrorism, and border crossing is driving the market growth. The broad range of unmanned systems uses various sensors, such as infrared, and Lidar, for surveillance. Some important sensors such as air pressure sensors to stabilize the body, accelerometer, gyro-meter, and barometric pressure sensors, are widely used to enable flight with smooth precision. Increased integration of artificial intelligence in automation technology is expected to drive the drone sensor market during the forecast period.

Rapid Adoption of Drones in Commercial Sector is Propelling Growth of the Market

Technological developments in unmanned systems in the past few years owing to high investments from private players are fueling the demand for advanced sensors. These developments are transforming the traditional ways of aerial photography and videography owing to excellent camera sensors deployed on unmanned systems. Excellent data collection ability with the help of analytics software and are enhancing the overall performance of unmanned systems. According to Goldman Sachs, the global drone market holds a potential of USD 11 billion in the construction sector and USD 5.9 billion in the agriculture sector in the future years. The strong growth of the agriculture industry owing to the rising demand for food and vegetables across the globe has fueled the need for technological equipment. Precision farming has a requirement for soil monitoring, disease monitoring, growth monitoring, and pesticide spraying, which can be done through drone technology to increase production yield. The growing involvement of numerous technologies in smart farming is projected to propel the market growth in the upcoming years.


Limited performance and High Cost Associated with System to Limit Market Adoption

The increasing utilization of unmanned systems in commercial and military & defense sectors owing to excellent data collection, mapping ability, surveillance, and striking capabilities is projected to fuel the demand for drone sensors in the future years. Small-size drones are also making a huge impact in the applications such as commercial delivery services & logistics, aerial photography, and agriculture. The sensors are capable of providing accurate information by sensing, position, altitude, pressure, flow, and temperature. However, the sensor system is sensitive to extreme environmental conditions, which can make drones non-functional in some areas. The sensors system is expensive owing to complicated circuit designs and dependency on other factors. These key factors are projected to hamper the future growth of the market across the growth.


By Sensor Type Analysis

Image Sensor to Grow at Faster Pace during 2021-2028

Based on the sensor, the market includes inertial sensors, image sensors, speed & distance sensors, position sensors, pressure sensors, ultrasonic sensors, altimeter sensors, current sensors, light sensors, and other sensors. The inertial sensor segment is further segmented into accelerometers, gyroscopes, tilt sensors, and magnetometers. The image sensors segment is further divided into thermal, infrared, and multispectral. Speed and distance sensors are further divided into radar, LiDAR, and proximity. The position sensor segment is further sub-segmented into GPS and GNSS. The image sensors segment is projected to register a higher CAGR by 2027 due to the increasing application of aerial photography in the commercial sector.

By Platform Analysis

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VTOL Segment Dominated the Market in 2020

Based on indication, the market is segmented into VTOL, fixed-wing, and hybrid. The fixed-wing segment is projected to hold maximum share in the upcoming years owing to extensive use in military and defense applications worldwide. Most of the military operations have strong requirements in key applications such as image mapping, information collection, data gathering, and intelligence. These applications require highly advanced sensors, systems, and components for excellent data capturing. The growing use of high-quality drone components and systems is likely to fuel segment growth. The VTOL segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The increasing adoption of the unmanned system in commercial logistics services, such as food delivery, parcel deliveries, medicine supply, and sample collection, is likely to fuel segment growth in the future years.

By Application Analysis

Navigation Segment to Register a Key Share in the Market during the Forecast Period

In terms of application, the market is segmented into navigation, collision detection & avoidance, data acquisition, motion detection, air pressure measurement, power monitoring, and others. The navigation segment is expected to hold the largest share in the market and is projected to lead during the forecast period. The wide range of unmanned systems is highly reliable in finding accurate positions and directions for flight operations. The GPS sensors & navigation system provide accurate information including proper direction and distances. Emergency applications, such as disaster management, search & rescue operations, and remote sensing, need advanced mapping & positioning systems. The emergence of smart navigation systems is projected to fuel segment growth in the future years. 


North America Drone Sensors Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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The market size in North America stood at USD 143.2 million in 2020. The dominance of this region is attributable to the increasing adoption of drones in the military & defense sector and commercial industry. The developed economies such as the U.S., and Canada, have excellent integration of technology through smart & advanced equipment for improving production output from the past several years. Several farmers are dependent on smart agriculture equipment including drone technology to enhance productivity. Strong growth in the U.S and Canada, is responsible for the dominance of North America in the advanced drone sensor market. The market in Europe is expected to grow at a strong CAGR owing to the increasing demand for commercial drones in Germany, France, and Russia, supporting regional growth. The market in the Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the surging spending on military & defense in countries for enhancing capabilities and fleet size during the forecast period.  In addition to this, market players in this region are focused on expanding production activity to supply their products across the globe, which in turn, will fuel the demand for drone sensor products. The rest of the world accounted for a relatively lower share of the market owing to the limited purchase of unnamed systems by the military sector of various counties.


Strong Portfolio of Raytheon, Trimble, and KVH Industries to Lead the Global Market.

The market is fragmented owing to the strong product portfolio and widespread distribution network of major companies in developed and emerging countries. Currently, Raytheon, Trimble, and KVH Industries lead the market with a dominant market share in 2020. However, widespread global customers in the commercial and defense sector are projected to increase in the number of domestic players entering the global market. This is projected to result in a highly fragmented market by 2028.

Other key players, such as AMS AG, Flir Systems, Lord Microstrain, Bosch Sensortec, Sparton Navex, and TE Connectivity., have also entered the market competition with advanced drone sensor products. The introduction of innovative these sensor products and huge investment in the development of smart sensors are some of the major strategies adopted by market players operating in the market.


  • Trimble (US)

  • Bosch Sensortec (Germany)

  • TDK InvenSense (U.S.)

  • Sparton NavEx (US) 

  • Raytheon (US)

  • AMS AG (Austria)

  • Flir System (U.S.)

  • KVH Industries (U.S.)

  • TE connectivity (Switzerland)

  • Lord MicroStrain (U.S.)

  • Other Players


  • November 2020 – The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a contract worth USD 93.3 million to General Atomics to develop excellent sensors for the MQ-9 Reaper. The contract was under Joint Artificial Intelligence Center’s Smart Sensor Project to develop artificial intelligence to control aircraft sensors by demonstrating object recognition algorithms.  

  • October 2020 – Hartford-based UAV manufacturing company Aquiline Drones signed licensing agreement with French sensor manufacturing company Drone Volt. The company will get a manufacturing and distribution facility through the agreement across the U.S. The Aquiline drone will be the single manufacturer of the multispectral sensor, smart camera and artificial intelligence & edge computing. 


An Infographic Representation of Drone Sensor Market

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The drone sensors market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



   Value (USD Million)


By Sensor Type

  • Inertial Sensors

  • Image Sensors

  • Speed & Distance Sensors

  • Position Sensors

  • Pressure Sensors

  • Ultrasonic Sensors

  • Altimeter Sensors

  • Current Sensors

  • Light Sensors

  • Other Sensors

By Application

  • Navigation

  • Collision Detection and Avoidance

  • Data Acquisition

  • Motion Detection

  • Air Pressure Measurement

  • Power Monitoring

  • Other

By Platform

  • Fixed-wing

  • Hybrid

  • VTOL

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Rest of World (Latin America, Middle East & Africa )

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 394.7 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2342.1 million by 2028.

In 2020, the North America market value stood at USD 143.2 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 25.08%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The VTOL segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand for commercial and military UAVs for several applications is primarily driving the growth of the market.

Raytheon, Trimble, and KVH Industries are major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2020.

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