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Earth Observation Drones Market - By Wing (Fixed, Rotary, Hybrid), By Power Source (Fuel, Battery, Hybrid), By Payloads (Imaging Payloads, Sensors, Combined), By Mode Of Operation, By Application, By End User & Forecast, 2024 – 2032

  • Report ID: GMI9991
  • Published Date: Jun 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Earth Observation Drones Market Size

Earth Observation Drones Market was valued at USD 4.8 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 12% between 2024 & 2032. The market is witnessing robust growth driven by growing applications across various sectors including agriculture, environmental monitoring, and disaster management.

Earth Observation Drones Market

Advancements in drone technology have revolutionized data gathering capabilities, enabling precise and real-time monitoring of land use, crop health, and natural disasters. The demand for Earth observation drones continues to surge as industries seek efficient solutions for remote sensing and surveillance. For instance, in January 2024, DJI unveiled its latest drone series Dock 2, which is optimized for environmental monitoring, equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and imaging technology to deliver high-resolution aerial data for scientific research and conservation efforts. Dock 2 is an upgraded drone-in-a-box from DJI with a key differentiator being its lightweight design that makes transportation more convenient. Compared to the previous generation, the volume and weight of the autonomous docking solution have been reduced by 75% and 68%, respectively

Another significant reason driving the earth observation drones market growth is the increasing regulatory support and incentives for aerial survey services and environmental monitoring initiatives. Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are increasingly recognizing the value of drone technology in enhancing environmental protection measures, disaster response capabilities, and resource management.

The market encounters challenges, such as the high initial costs of drones, which could restrict demand. Moreover, the use of advanced materials to enhance performance and customization adds to the overall cost. Additionally, challenges, such as regulatory hurdles related to airspace regulations and complexities in data processing and analysis, may impede market expansion. Significant expenses related to labor, maintenance, storage, and seasonal fluctuations further impact market growth.

Earth Observation Drones Market Trends

The market is currently undergoing dynamic shifts driven by technological advancements and increasing demand across various sectors. One significant trend is the rising adoption of drones for precision agriculture, enabling farmers to optimize crop management and yield through detailed monitoring and data analytics. For instance, in April 2024, DJI, a leader in agricultural drone technology, launched the Agras T50 and Agras T25 drones globally. The Agras T50 is optimized for large-scale farming with its dual-rotor design, 54-inch propellers, and the capability to efficiently spray up to 50 acres per hour. It features a dual atomization spraying system and can convert to spreading mode, handling up to 1.5 tonnes of dry granules per hour. Enhanced connectivity through a four-antenna O3 Transmission system and advanced obstacle avoidance with dual radar and binocular vision sensors ensure precise and safe operations.

Additionally, advancements in drone technology are enhancing capabilities in disaster management and emergency response. Drones equipped with thermal imaging and real-time mapping capabilities are instrumental in assessing disaster-affected areas, facilitating rapid response and recovery efforts. This trend was demonstrated during the response to February 2024 wildfires in Australia, where drones were deployed to survey fire damage and support firefighting operations. The integration of drones into disaster management strategies illustrates their pivotal role in enhancing situational awareness and improving disaster resilience worldwide.

Earth Observation Drones Market Analysis

Earth Observation Drones Market Size, By Wing, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

Based on wing type, the market is segmented into fixed-wing drones, rotary-wing drones, and hybrid drones. The rotary segment dominates the market in 2023 and is projected to exceed USD 6 billion by 2032. Rotary-wing drones dominate this segment, owing to their flight endurance and efficiency in covering large areas for aerial surveillance and mapping applications. These rotary-wing drones are favored for their stability and capability to hover precisely, making them essential tools in sectors such as agriculture, environmental monitoring, and disaster management.

For instance, in March 2023, senseFly, a Swiss manufacturer specializing in drones, launched the eBee TAC, a high-precision mapping drone designed for environmental monitoring and land management. The eBee TAC is equipped with multispectral sensors and thermal cameras, allowing it to capture detailed data for biodiversity assessments, forestry management, and disaster response. Its ability to hover and maneuver in tight spaces makes it suitable for challenging terrain and remote locations, providing valuable insights to environmental agencies and conservation organization.

Earth Observation Drones Market Share, By Payloads, 2023

Based on payload, the market is categorized into imaging payloads, sensors, and combined. The imaging payloads segment held a major market share of around 71% in 2023 and is expected to grow significantly. Drones equipped with advanced imaging payloads have become increasingly favored in various sectors due to their capabilities in remote sensing and data collection. These drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras, multispectral sensors, and even LiDAR technology, allowing them to capture detailed imagery of landscapes, monitor environmental changes, and conduct precise mapping missions.

For instance, NASA's use of Earth observation drones equipped with sophisticated imaging payloads has revolutionized their ability to monitor climate change impacts. These drones are deployed to study glaciers, monitor sea ice dynamics, and track changes in vegetation patterns across remote regions. By leveraging advanced imaging technologies, NASA and other organizations can obtain crucial insights into environmental trends and make informed decisions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

North America Earth Observation Drones Market Size, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

North America dominated the global earth observation drones market with a share of over 32% in 2023. The region benefits from advanced technological capabilities and significant investments in aerospace and defense sectors, which spill over into the drone industry. Companies in the U. S., such as 3D Robotics (3DR) and Lockheed Martin, lead in the development and deployment of cutting-edge drone technologies for various applications including earth observation, agriculture, and defense. The continent's regulatory environment, which supports innovation while maintaining safety and security standards, further encourages growth in the drone sector.

In Europe, countries, such as Germany and France, are prominent in developing high-precision drones used for mapping, environmental monitoring, and urban planning. European Union initiatives also drive adoption, promoting sustainable practices through drone technology in agriculture and environmental conservation.

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, rapid economic growth and technological advancement are key drivers of the Earth observation drone market. Countries, such as China, Japan, and India, are investing heavily in drone technology for agriculture, disaster management, and infrastructure development.

Earth Observation Drones Market Share

DJI and Teledyne Technologies Incorporated hold a significant market share of more than 30% in the earth observation drones industry. Teledyne Technologies, known for its expertise in aerospace and defense technologies, has leveraged its strengths to develop high-performance drones tailored for specialized applications such as military surveillance, environmental monitoring, and scientific research, whereas DJI leads the consumer and commercial drone market globally with a strategy focused on affordability, user-friendly design, and advanced features. DJI’s product range spans from compact consumer drones such as the Mavic series to professional-grade platforms such as the Matrice and Inspire series, catering to diverse sectors including photography, cinematography, agriculture, and infrastructure inspection.

Earth Observation Drones Market Companies

Major players operating in the earth observation drones industry are:

  • Acecore Technologies
  • AeroVironment, Inc.
  • Aeryon Labs
  • Autel Robotics
  • DJI
  • FLIR Systems
  • Parrot Drone SAS.
  • Skydio, Inc.
  • Teledyne Technologies Incorporated
  • Yuneec  

Earth Observation Drones Industry News

  • In June 2024, Airbus unveiled its Wingman concept, showcasing a drone controlled by pilots in manned combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter, enabling it to undertake high-risk missions with features such as low observability, advanced sensors, and connectivity. The concept aims to augment manned fighter fleets by offering capabilities for reconnaissance, target jamming, and precision strikes, enhancing combat effectiveness while reducing risk exposure for pilots.
  • In October 2023, DroneShield Ltd partnered with Lockheed Martin Australia’s STELaRLab to integrate DroneCannon Mk2 into Lockheed Martin's Agile Shield Program. Developed under the Next Generation Technologies Fund, Agile Shield aimed to Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems (C-UAS) by combining Australian sensors and effectors with an open mission architecture for rapid, scalable responses to airborne threats, transitioning to field demonstrations.

The earth observation drones market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry, with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue (USD Million) and shipments (units) from 2021 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Wing

  • Fixed
  • Rotary
  • Hybrid

Market, By Power Source

  • Fuel
  • Battery
  • Hybrid

Market, By Payloads

  • Imaging payloads
    • RGB camera
    • Multispectral camera
    • Thermal camera
    • Others
  • Sensors
  • Combined

Market, By Mode of Operation

  • Remote
  • Semi-autonomous
  • Autonomous

Market, By Application

  • Agriculture & forestry
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined
  • Energy & utilities
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined
  • Construction
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined
  • Environmental monitoring
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined
  • Mining & exploration
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined
  • Others
    • Imaging payloads
    • Sensors
    • Combined

Market, By End-user

  • Government & defence
  • Commercial
  • Others

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Russia
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • ANZ
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America 
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Rest of MEA


Authors: Preeti Wadhwani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Global earth observation drones industry was valued at USD 4.8 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to register over 12% CAGR between 2024 and 2032 due to the rising adoption of precision agriculture techniques.

The imaging payloads segment held 71% of the earth observation drones market share in 2023 due to drones' advanced imaging for remote sensing, data collection, and detailed mapping with high-resolution cameras and sensors.

North America earth observation drones market held 32% revenue share in 2023 due to advanced tech, major aerospace investments, and supportive regulations encouraging innovation in earth observation and defense.

Acecore Technologies, AeroVironment, Inc., Aeryon Labs, Autel Robotics, DJI, FLIR Systems, Parrot Drone SAS., Skydio, Inc., Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, and Yuneec, among others.

Earth Observation Drones Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 20
  • Tables & Figures: 300
  • Countries covered: 24
  • Pages: 260
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