|Base Year Market Size
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The global tethered drones market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.50% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The global tethered drones are driven by surging demand from agriculture, where they are widely used in crop monitoring and precision agriculture. In addition, the extensive use of tethered drones in the telecommunication sector is further anticipated to boost market expansion. Moreover, the emergence of innovative and technologically advanced tethered drones is anticipated to generate opportunities for the market.
Tethered drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are linked to the ground using a physical tether or cable. Tethered drones, in contrast to conventional drones, establish a physical connection to a base station or ground control unit using a cable that often carries power and communication cables. The tether cable ensures a consistent power source for the drone, enabling it to function for prolonged durations without depending on its internal battery. This especially benefits applications requiring extended or uninterrupted surveillance, monitoring, or data collection.
Moreover, the tether facilitates real-time data transmission between the drone and the ground station. This guarantees a reliable and protected communication connection, minimizing the possibility of signal disruption or loss. These drones significantly decrease the occurrence of technical and human errors leading to crashes during flight.
Tethered drones offer a favorable prospect in the field of agriculture. Tethered drones can offer extended aerial coverage, making them highly important for crop monitoring and precision agriculture tasks. The data gathered by these unmanned aerial vehicles can enhance agricultural efficiency, optimize resource allocation, and anticipate crop production.
Tethered drones are anticipated to dramatically impact modernizing agricultural operations as precision farming technologies acquire worldwide acceptance. Moreover, according to Straits Research Analysis, the global precision agriculture market size was valued at USD 5.49 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 19.24 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 14.95% from 2022 to 2030. Therefore, the growing demand from the agriculture sector is anticipated to drive the market growth.
The increasing need for drones in the telecommunications industry is a significant driver of growth in the tethered drone market. Drones are utilized for conducting tower inspections due to their ability to capture photographs, videos, and data of the tower and subsequently communicate them to the carrier network without human intervention. This process reduces the time and effort required for inspections.
Carriers utilize drones for radio planning and line-of-sight testing to ascertain optimal positions and elevations for antenna installation. These drones facilitate the establishment of impromptu networks, enhance cellular coverage, and offer connectivity in distant locations. Moreover, tethered drones can transport antennas and other transmitting devices, thereby functioning as temporary transmission towers in the tragic occurrence of a natural disaster that permanently renders the original transmission towers inoperable.
A significant obstacle impeding the growth of the tethered drone market is the presence of regulatory and operational concerns linked to using tethered drones. Tethered drones are governed by diverse legislation and guidelines, which vary based on the country, area, and intended use. For example, tethered drones may necessitate certain authorizations or permits to function in particular airspace, such as close to airports, military installations, or restricted areas.
Furthermore, tethered drones could endanger other aircraft, individuals, and assets in the event of tether failure, malfunction, or interference. In addition, tethered drones may encounter operational difficulties, including restricted mobility, range, and maneuverability, as a result of the existence of the tether. These factors could restrict the utilization and implementation of tethered drones in certain situations.
The development of novel and technologically advanced tethered drones is expected to create opportunities for the market. For instance, in April 2023, Elistair, a prominent producer of tethered drone systems designed for continuous surveillance and tactical communications, introduced its latest tethered power module for the DJI M30 drone. This retrofit module is designed for the Ligh-T and Safe-T Ground Power Stations. It enables unbroken flight for extended periods, reaching heights up to 70 meters.
Additionally, in June 2021, Easy Aerial, a prominent company specializing in autonomous drone-based inspection, monitoring, and surveillance solutions for commercial, government, and military purposes, has recently introduced its innovative Raptor drone. This innovative drone-in-a-box solution is the first to provide operators with the choice to fly with a tether or without one and the capability to detach the tether while in flight. Such developments are anticipated to create opportunities for market expansion.
Based on region, the global tethered drones market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global tethered drones market shareholder and is expected to expand substantially during the forecast period. The tethered drone market is dominated by North America, primarily because of the extensive utilization of tethered drones in the defense and telecommunication industries. The United States dominates North America's market for tethered drones because of its robust military presence and extensive cellular tower infrastructure. Furthermore, these drones are utilized by the telecommunications industry in the United States to conduct tower inspections, radio planning, and line-of-sight testing. For instance, in 2022, AT&T utilized their Flying COW (Cell on Wings) tethered drones in Puerto Rico to deliver cellular connectivity to the regions impacted by Hurricane Maria.
Furthermore, these drones are also being deployed in vehicles to improve road safety in the U.S. For instance, the Safety Service Patrol of the N.C. Department of Transportation has collaborated with another program to become the first in the U.S. to initiate a pioneering technology pilot. This initiative aims to enhance safety on North Carolina roadways. The IMAP program and the UAS program of the Division of Aviation collaborated to create and implement tethered drones from certain IMAP vehicles. This aids responders in evaluating incidents, delivering situational knowledge to the NCDOT Statewide Transportation Operations Center (STOC) and Traffic Management Centers (TMCs), and supporting the overall management of traffic during these incidents. The approval of a federal innovation grant in 2020 achieved the implementation of this technology. Therefore, the surging use of tethered drones from several applications is driving the market in North America.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the fastest-growing region. This is primarily driven by the rising use of tethered drones in emerging countries like China, India, and Japan. The Chinese military employs tethered drones for border patrol, air defense, and counter-terrorism missions. In 2022, China utilized its JY-300 tethered drones to surveil the border with India to monitor the situation and deliver up-to-the-minute data. China's commercial sector utilizes these drones for inspection, communication, and entertainment. China Telecom utilized tethered drones to deliver 5G connectivity for the globally renowned Spring Festival Gala in 2022, which is recognized as the most widely seen television program worldwide.
Furthermore, the Indian Army has officially announced the completion of a contract to acquire 130 tethered drones and 19 tank-driving simulators. The military stated that introducing the new equipment would improve the Army's operational readiness. Thus, all these factors are anticipated to augment the market expansion.
|Fotokite Yuneec Holding Ltd. Sky-Drones Technologies Ltd Azure Drones Acecore Technologies Novadem UAVTEK Comsovereign ECA Group Elistair Inc Teledyne Flir Llc Hoverfly Technologies
|U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
|China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
|Middle East and Africa
|UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
|Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
|Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Based on type, the global tethered drones market is divided into multi-copter and quadcopter.
A quadcopter, also known as a quadrocopter or quadrotor, is a helicopter variant equipped with four rotors. Each rotor creates both lift and torque near its center of rotation and drag, as opposed to the vehicle's direction of flight. Despite the trial flight of quadrotor helicopters and convertiplanes, their configuration remained a mere curiosity until the advent of current unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. The compact dimensions and minimal weight of drones enable the utilization of an exceptionally uncomplicated flight control system, significantly enhancing the feasibility of employing small quadrotors in this specific context. Autonomous flight programming of the quadcopter configuration is comparatively straightforward. This has facilitated research, including intricate swarming behavior that relies on the fundamental sensing capabilities of neighboring drones.
Based on application, the global tethered drones market is bifurcated into search and rescue, telemetry and communication, surveillance and protection, commercial and recreational, and others.
Tethered drones have significant utility in search and rescue (SAR) missions, providing numerous benefits compared to untethered drones. Tethered drones can transport larger and more complex equipment, such as cutting-edge sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and high-resolution cameras. These payloads augment the drone's capabilities for identifying individuals or evaluating areas affected by disasters. Moreover, including potent illumination allows tethered drones to conduct nighttime search and rescue missions effectively. This is especially advantageous when conducting searches for individuals who are unaccounted for or evaluating the magnitude of a catastrophe in situations where conventional visibility is restricted.
Furthermore, the tether facilitates instantaneous data transmission, enabling rescue workers to get live video feeds, sensor data, and other pertinent information from the drone directly. This prompt response can inform decision-making and enhance search efforts. Therefore, there is growth in the usage of tethered drones in search and rescue operations.
Based on end-users, the global tethered drones market is divided into commercial and military.
The increasing use of commercial drones in applications such as precision agriculture, freight management, aerial photography, traffic monitoring, etc., drives the segment's growth. The key players are launching new drones in this segment. For instance, in August 2021, A2Z Drone Delivery, LLC, which created a patented method for delivering packages using tethered freefall drones, officially introduced its RDSX commercial delivery unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The A2Z Drone Delivery RDSX was created in partnership with a prominent international logistics operator to transport two payloads during each flight, enabling drone service providers to optimize delivery processes and address consumer apprehensions around residential drone delivery. The RDSX incorporates A2Z Drone Delivery's exclusive tethered freefall Rapid Delivery System, which can efficiently and securely transport payloads from altitudes of up to 150 feet. Such factors boost the segment growth.