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UAV Market Trends Mean Good News for Connector Industry

By 2025, annual sales of unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs) are expected to hit $14 billion, up from $8 billion in 2015.

This is good news for the connector industry, as the rise in UAV sales will mean the need for more connections, as the trade publication ConnectorSupplier.com noted in a recent article.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some UAV market trends and what these trends might mean for the world of connectors. 

Military applications

The year 2014 marked an important milestone in terms of UAV market trends as they relate to the military. That was the year that the number of drone pilots being trained by the U.S. military was greater than the number of fighter and bomber pilots.

While many of the world’s larger militaries – the U.S., Great Britain, China – have used UAVs for years, smaller nations such as Pakistan and Nigeria have begun to conduct their own drone warfare.

The growth of UAV use means the military will need more sensors for surveillance, reconnaissance and weapons systems, all of which bodes well for connector companies, Connector Supplier said.

There is growing demand for electrification thanks to the need to connect these various systems. This demand will only increase as UAV-makers learn ways to offer upgraded capabilities.

As systems become more specialized, the need for connections will grow. Look for a rise in high-data-rate, FR, fiber optic and small form factor, high-density ruggedized connector products, in both the circular and rectangular varieties. 

Civilian and consumer applications

The terms “civilian” covers a broad field, with everyone from police officers to construction workers relying on unmanned aerial vehicles for their jobs.

“Drone technology will give the agriculture industry a high-technology makeover,” wrote the MIT Technology review in its look at UAV market trends in the farming world.

Farmers can use UAVs to spray and monitor crops, conduct soil analysis and determine which fields may need extra irrigation.

In the construction industry, workers can use drones to build 3D models, draw topographic maps and make volumetric measurements of resources such as gravel and sand.

And police departments around the world have used UAVs to conduct surveillance, track down fugitives and search for missing persons. In Connecticut, lawmakers are debating whether to allow police to use drones outfitted with weapons, in “very limited circumstances,” one legislator told CBS in March.

And this is setting aside the number of people buying drones for personal use. An estimated 1 million consumer drones were purchased in late 2015 around Christmastime.

Compared to their military counterparts, these UAVs use simpler cameras and control systems. They use fewer connectors than military UAVs, but the sheer number of drones sold in civilian settings will still produce a respectable market, Connector Supplier noted.

If you’re looking for connectors for your next military or aviation application, PEI-Genesis can help. We specialize in military connectors for harsh environments. Our team can help lower your acquisition costs and lead times, simplify your assembly and improve the quality of your designs. Contact us today to learn more. 


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