Home Aerospace And Defense Tethered Drones Market Research Report with Statistics by 2032

Tethered Drones Market

Tethered Drones Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Solution (Tethered Drone, Tethered Stations), By Components (Sensors, Controller Systems, Cameras, Batteries), By Application (Search and Rescue, Telemetry and communication, Surveillance and Protection, Commercial and Recreational ), By End Use (Commercial, Military) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAD55751DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 5%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 285 billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 438 billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
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Market Overview

The global tethered drone market size was valued at USD 285 billion in 2023, projected to grow from USD 299 billion in 2024 to USD 438 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period (2024-2032). The market for tethered drones has experienced substantial growth in recent years due to advancements in size, weight, and power (SWaP) optimized technologies. These improvements have enabled smaller man-portable systems to have greater flexibility in tactical capabilities.

A tethered drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that remains attached to the ground with a physical tether, usually a cable or wire. This tether facilitates power and data transmission between the drone and a base station, enabling prolonged flight durations and uninterrupted operation. Tethered drones are utilized throughout many industries for surveillance, monitoring, and communication, where it is crucial to maintain a continuous aerial presence. Multiple manufacturers produce tethered drones, with prominent participants in the market, including DJI, Elistair, Hoverfly Technologies, and Drone Aviation. DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, provides the DJI Zenmuse T20 tethered drone system for public safety, infrastructure inspection, and event surveillance. Alistair specializes in providing tethered drone solutions designed for surveillance and communication purposes. Their product range includes the Elistair Ligh-T and Safe-T.

Tethered drones have experienced substantial growth in the global market, primarily because of their capacity to offer continuous aerial observation and communication. Primary uses encompass border surveillance, crowd surveillance, emergency management, and industrial examinations. The Tethered Drone Market is projected to sustain its growth as various industries acknowledge the advantages of using tethered drones for extended missions and immediate data collection, effectively solving diverse operational requirements worldwide. 

Top 4 Key Highlights

  • Tethered drone generates the highest revenue share based on the solution.
  • Cameras account for the largest market share by components.
  • Commercial and Recreational accounts for the largest market share by application.
  • Commercial accounts for the largest market share by end-use.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Growing Demand for Drones In Telecommunications 

Drones are employed for tower inspection because they can gather images, videos, and tower data, which can be promptly transmitted to the carrier network. This results in a reduction in inspection time and manual effort. Carriers utilize drones for radio planning and conducting line-of-sight testing to determine the optimal locations and heights for antenna placement. Tethered drones facilitate the establishment of impromptu networks, enhance cellular coverage, and provide connectivity in remote areas.

Moreover, tethered drones can carry antennas and other transmitting equipment. They can also act as temporary transmission towers if natural catastrophes cause permanent damage to existing transmission towers. In October 2018, AT and T utilized tethered drones to restore connection in Mexico Beach and the nearby area. This enabled first responders, including police, firefighters, and emergency personnel, to regain communication capabilities and assist in coordinating rescue operations. The Flying COW drone can cater to 6,500 clients simultaneously, enabling AT&T customers to obtain information regarding their catastrophe recovery and establish communication with their relatives in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael's devastation. Consequently, there is expected to be an increase in demand for tethering drones, which will drive the market's growth during the projected timeframe. 

Market Restraints

Regulatory Challenges

In 2019, the European Commission implemented two regulations about the operations and marketing of unmanned aircraft. The laws, which will take effect in 2021, establish a consistent structure for operators and manufacturers throughout the European Union. This will open up possibilities for expanding the tethered drone market, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations categorize unmanned aircraft (UA) into classes (C0 to C6), each denoting specific technological parameters and suitability for particular operations. The UA classes establish the necessary qualifications for remote pilots in conjunction with their intended operations. Tethered drones, classified as UA classes C2 to C3 and C5, garner attention because of their distinctive benefits. Tethered drones, connected by a secure cable, have reduced risks in terms of technical specifications and operational requirements, providing advantages to producers and operators.

Under the regulations set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), tethered drones are categorized as a specific type of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). Consequently, they are bound by rules and regulations identical to those of other categories of RPAS. Operators must obtain a specialized RPAS certification to use a tethered drone for European commercial activities. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the governing body in Europe that oversees the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems, which includes tethered drones. The restrictions governing tethered drones in Europe closely resemble those in the United States. These rules are anticipated to present a hurdle or risk to the market's growth in the projected timeframe. Tethered drones need a consistent power source from the ground, typically transmitted through the tether. The reliance on an external power source can pose a barrier, especially In distant or inaccessible areas where the establishment of power infrastructure is anticipated to impede the expansion of the tethered drone sector.

Market Opportunity

Deployment of Tethered Drones in Various Industries

Drones can capture detailed images, execute accurate attacks from a distance, and engage in aerial combat. As a result, technology suppliers have been compelled to develop EO/IR payloads that are compact enough to provide efficient heat dissipation while still adhering to industry norms. Predictions indicate that the enhanced computer power will augment integrated infrared cameras' functionalities, rendering these systems more attractive to the aerospace and defense sectors. The reduction in size of commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) technology allows for the creation of compact intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions that can be used in most miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the market. Consequently, both defense and commercial operators have acquired diminutive and miniature UAVs. The significant strategic benefits of a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in military operations have led to substantial investments in research, development, and procurement of this technology.

Designers working on infrared sensors for aerospace and defense applications mainly focus on developing electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) sensors. They are improving the resolution of IR sensors to be equivalent to that of visible-light sensors. They are also implementing multispectral sensing and imaging, integrating IR sensors with laser range finders, and reducing the size of IR sensor packages for autonomous vehicles and other small-scale applications. Thanks to the development of current integrated computer systems, it is now feasible to integrate more sophisticated payload systems onto tethered drone platforms. This enhances their suitability for various mission profiles in different terrains and situations. This is anticipated to expedite the use of tethered drones in diverse industries, leading to a rise in the demand for tethered drones and their corresponding systems. Consequently, this drives the revenue of the Tethered Drones market.

Regional Analysis

The global tethered drone market analysis is conducted across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

North America's tethered drone market share is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% over the forecast period. North America, particularly the United States, is a leading drone market due to its lenient drone rules and vital infrastructure. The expansive geographical boundaries of nations such as the United States necessitate the utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to ensure uninterrupted surveillance in regions characterized by challenging topography that restricts the accessibility of ground patrol teams. The demand for unmanned automated aircraft systems with high durability and low running costs has risen due to the operational requirements of the US Border Patrol.

Additionally, the military increasingly utilizes tethered drones due to their nearly limitless longevity; however, they have restricted mobility. The US Department of Defense (DoD) extensively utilizes tethered unmanned automation aircraft systems for surveillance and security. The Black Hornet is a compact drone for surveillance, gathering intelligence, and commanding small military formations and platoons. Integrating advanced optics into tethered unmanned autonomous aircraft systems will enable the military to easily monitor remote locations and critical military bases for signs of trespassing. Consequently, higher procurement rates will stimulate growth in the region's tethered drone market. 

Asia Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.6% over the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific Tethered Drone market is experiencing significant growth due to increased infrastructure development projects and a growing focus on border security. The market growth is further accelerated by government programs promoting drone usage for surveillance and public safety. The region's varied topography offers prospects for utilization in agriculture, disaster management, and industrial examination. Domestic production and centers for creativity and invention in nations like China are significant in achieving cost competitiveness and driving technological progress. The Asia Pacific, Tethered Drone market, is expected to experience continuous expansion due to the growing number of partnerships and collaborations between drone manufacturers and government agencies. This growth is driven by the need to meet various regional requirements.

Furthermore, India's expanding drone sector, encompassing tethered drones, exemplifies a deliberate transition towards sophisticated technological production. As demonstrated by the Drone Airspace Map and UAS Traffic Management policy, India's regulatory structure fosters a favorable environment for indigenous development. The government's efforts, including implementing the Drone Certification Scheme and Drone Import Policy, demonstrate its dedication to promoting a strong and thriving drone ecosystem. The PLI program and other incentives strengthen domestic production and attract investments. As a result, the sector is expected to replace 80% of human aircraft operations. India aims to establish itself as a leading global center for drone technology by 2030. The drone sector has significant potential to contribute to economic growth, job opportunities, and scientific advancements, which align with the country's strategic goals.

Europe holds a significant market share. The tethered drone market in Europe is now witnessing strong growth due to the rising demand for its surveillance, disaster management, and military applications. The combination of regulatory assistance for drone technology and the increasing need for continuous aerial monitoring drives the market's growth. Prominent stakeholders are allocating resources towards cutting-edge technology, such as artificial intelligence-driven analytics, to augment the functionalities of tethered drones across diverse industries. In addition, partnerships between drone makers and research institutions help technological progress, promoting market expansion. In the European market, there is a noticeable shift towards tailored solutions that address the individual requirements of different industries. This tendency has resulted in a varied and dynamic environment for tethered drones.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Solution
  1. Tethered Drone
  2. Tethered Stations
By Components
  1. Sensors
  2. Controller Systems
  3. Cameras
  4. Batteries
By Application
  1. Search and Rescue
  2. Telemetry and communication
  3. Surveillance and Protection
  4. Commercial and Recreational 
By End Use
  1. Commercial
  2. Military
Company Profiles COMSovereign Holding Corp. Dragonfly Pictures Inc. Elistair Sas Flyfocus sp. Z o.o Groupe Gorge Hoverfly Technology Inc. Menet Aero LLC. Mistral Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Novadem Perspective Robotics AG Sky Drones Technologies Ltd. Sky Sapience Ltd. Skyshot Pte Ltd Spooky Action Inc. Teledyne Technologies Inc. UAVTEK Ltd. Volarious Yuneec International Co. Ltd. Zenith Aerotech
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC 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
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global tethered drone market is segmented based on solution, components, application, and end-use. 

Based on the solution, the market is segmented into Tethered Drone and Tethered Stations.

The tethered drone segment dominated in 2023. Defense organizations are adopting tethered drones to enhance their defense capabilities due to the high need for autonomous security and surveillance systems. The tethered stations segment is the fastest growing. Tethered Drone Systems typically rely on a direct connection to a power source or generator at the ground station to maintain a consistent power supply for the drone and its equipment. One of the primary benefits of these systems is the secure and immediate transmission of high-quality data to consumers. Tethered drone systems are well-suited for uninterrupted border surveillance, perimeter surveillance, military forward post monitoring, and rapid communication networks in hilly regions due to their ability to remain airborne for over 10 hours.

The market is segmented based on components: Sensors, Controller Systems, Cameras, and Batteries. 

The cameras segment dominated the market. Tethered drones can provide surveillance on Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) throughout a broad optical spectrum, while cameras can provide protection for soldiers but have limited range compared to aerial cameras. The cameras possess an impressive optical zoom capability of 30x, enabling them to identify trucks and other sizable objects from a range of 10 kilometers.

The sensors segment is the fastest growing. Sensors are crucial in the tethered drone market since they enable several capabilities and improve operating efficiency. The drones incorporate these sensors to gather information on environmental parameters, including temperature, humidity, and air quality—additionally, the sensors aid with navigation, obstacle detection, and payload control. In addition, sensors facilitate real-time monitoring and surveillance applications by recording and transferring vital information to ground control stations. 

The market is segmented based on application into Search and Rescue, Telemetry and communication, Surveillance and Protection, and Commercial and Recreational.

The commercial and recreational segment dominated in 2023. Tethered drones with state-of-the-art camera modules and audio equipment present potential threats to businesses' privacy. Their vulnerabilities could be used to gain physical entry into networks and equipment in crucial infrastructure sectors, enabling them to get data from systems that insurgent groups would otherwise be unable to reach due to distance limitations. The problems above have resulted in higher utilization of tethered drones to protect the resources and information of commercial enterprises. This, in turn, will enhance the need for tethered drone technology in commercial sectors. 

The telemetry and communication segment is the fastest growing. The proliferation of cutting-edge drone technologies by companies specializing in tethered drones is driving the expansion of this particular market segment.

The market is segmented into Military and Commercial Drones based on end use.

The commercial drone segment dominated in 2023. This is due to the growing range of application industries, including precision agriculture, aerial photography, freight management, and traffic monitoring. The demand for technological equipment has increased due to the rapid expansion of the agriculture industry and the growing global demand for food and vegetables. Precision farming requires monitoring soil conditions, disease presence, growth progress, and the precise use of pesticides to optimize crop yields. The military drones segment is the fastest growing. Military drones have a crucial impact on the development of the tethered drone market. Their superior capabilities and technological advancements frequently establish the benchmarks for civilian uses. Tethered drones are essential for military operations, offering crucial surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering capabilities. Furthermore, they fulfill duties in communication relay and battlefield control. Tethered drone technology is continuously advancing to meet the rigorous demands of military operations, which necessitate improvements in endurance, payload capacity, and real-time data transmission capabilities. 

Market Size By Solution

Market Size By Solution
  • Tethered Drone
  • Tethered Stations
  • Recent Developments

    • December 2023Hoverfly Technologies Inc., a pioneering company in tethered drone technology, is pleased to announce the successful delivery of the Spectre 2.0 tethered system to clients worldwide. Users from various industries now have access to this groundbreaking technology, transforming the field of essential tethered sUAS applications.
    • January 2024– Skye Air Mobility has secured seven contracts from many institutions, such as AIIMS Jodhpur and AIIMS Rajkot. These contracts involve the utilization of cutting-edge drone technology to transport medical supplies.

    Key Players

    Tethered Drones Market Share of Key Players

    Tethered Drones Market Share of Key Players
    COMSovereign Holding Corp. Dragonfly Pictures Inc. Elistair Sas Flyfocus sp. Z o.o Groupe Gorge Hoverfly Technology Inc. Menet Aero LLC. Mistral Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Novadem Perspective Robotics AG Sky Drones Technologies Ltd. Sky Sapience Ltd. Skyshot Pte Ltd Spooky Action Inc. Teledyne Technologies Inc. UAVTEK Ltd. Volarious Yuneec International Co. Ltd. Zenith Aerotech Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the Market?
    The global tethered drone industry size is projected to reach USD 438 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 5%.
    A tethered drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that remains attached to the ground with a physical tether, usually a cable or wire.
    North America is the most significant global tethered drones market shareholder and is expected to expand substantially during the forecast period.
    Regulatory and Operation Challenges hinders the markets growth in future.
    Growing Demand for Drones In Telecommunications driving the growth of market.

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