Synthetic Aperture Radar Market size is set to be around USD 8.5 billion by 2026, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights Inc.
The SAR market demand is driven by a rising number of satellite launches by defense and intelligence agencies for earth observation and space exploration purposes. Recent satellite launches for military and commercial applications include StriX-a, IGS-Optical 6, micro radar satellites, and Gaofen-3 satellite. The integration of these satellites with SAR systems is propelling the industry growth.
The increasing number of joint ventures and research projects between countries and industry participants for the development of advanced remote sensing systems and radar technologies will provide a positive outlook on the market.
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Key factors challenging the SAR market growth include the high cost of obtaining the data collected from SARs to derive actionable insights. The SAR data is filled with noise and unnecessary images that makes it difficult to detect objects of interest. This process requires special software solutions and advanced training of data operators, making the SAR data expensive for end-users and hampering market demand. However, the impact of this industry challenge is expected to reduce with the declining cost of components and technological innovations by SAR industry players.
Analyst view: “Technological advancements with the miniaturization of synthetic aperture radars are expected to drive their applications in the commercial sector, supporting the overall market growth.”
The SAR market is anticipated to witness a moderate impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Market factors hampering the growth include increasing financial insecurities and supply chain disruptions. However, the ongoing projects, such as the NASA COVID-19 Digitization Project, will stabilize the market during the pandemic. Through this project, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) will use synthetic aperture radar satellites to observe the changes in human activities during the lockdown and re-opening period across the globe.
High accuracy & resolution propelling the demand for multi-frequency band systems
The multi-frequency band segment valued at around USD 630 million in 2019. The segment is expected to display a strong growth potential through 2026 due to the increasing demand for high-resolution three-dimensional images. Multi-frequency band SAR systems combine two or more frequency signals to accurately monitor a wide area. Dual-frequency SARs with multiple combinations of frequency bands are gaining higher visibility owing to their increasing adoption in next-generation satellites.
Browse key industry insights spread across 300 pages with 436 market data tables & 34 figures & charts from the report, “Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Size By Frequency Band (Single-frequency Band [X Band, C Band, L Band, K/Ku/Ka Band], Multi-frequency Band), By Component (Receiver, Transmitter, Antenna), By Application (Spacecraft, Aircraft, UAV), By End-use (Research & Commercial Applications [Public, Safety, Environmental Monitoring, Natural Exploration], Defense), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2020 – 2026” in detail along with the table of contents:
Growing demand for UAV-mounted SAR in surveillance activities
The UAV application held around 15% of the SAR market share in 2019 driven by the growing demand in various commercial applications such as precision agriculture, aerial remote sensing, and product delivery. For instance, in February 2018, MDA signed a strategic contract with the Royal Canadian Navy to provide innovative surveillance technologies for the Navy’s UAVs.
Proliferation of SAR in research & commercial applications
The research & commercial application segment is estimated to support the market outlook at 9% CAGR from 2020 to 2026. Synthetic aperture radars for research & commercial applications will provide a broad area-imaging at high-resolution, thus playing a significant role in environmental monitoring and earth resource mapping. Their use in earth science research & commercial applications is further developed using several satellite systems that include Shuttle-based flights and the European Space Agency's ERS-1 & ERS-2.
Strong presence of space agencies and industry players in Europe
The Europe SAR market surpassed USD 1.1 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow steadily through 2026. The rise in the market size across Europe can be attributed to the presence of various private industry players and government agencies including European Space Agencies (ESA), the UK Space Agency, and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). These organizations have a significant presence in the Europe synthetic aperture radar landscape for decades with continuously increasing data sets, providing robust market growth opportunities.
Start-ups in the industry are focusing on raising funds to continue and enhance their operations, providing steep competition to established market players. For instance, in December 2018, ICEYE received a second round of series B funding of USD 11.14 million from a Finnish trade and economic development agency. This grant aided ICEYE to launch eight satellites by 2019 and conclude the mission of 18 satellite constellation, providing frequent revisits and high-resolution data. Market leaders are also emphasizing on establishing long-term contracts with satellite-launch platforms such as SpaceX and ISRO.
Prominent SAR market players include Airbus S.A.S., BAE Systems, Cobham plc, Capella Space, General Atomics, CGG, L3Harris Corporation, GroundProde, ICEYE, MDA Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Leonardo S.p.A., and OHB Systems AG.