Aerostat Systems Market By Shape (Spheroidal, Ellipsoidal), Class (Small, Medium, Large), Payload (Communication Systems, Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Systems, Surveillance Radar, Navigation Systems), Application (Defense, Homeland Security, Commercial & Others) - Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2015 - 2022

Due to persistent surveillance capability coupled with low cost, aerostat systems have become popular for various applications across the defense sector. Aerostat systems are tethered airborne platforms designed to deliver persistent services such as communication, surveillance, electronic intelligence gathering, and others. The research report on aerostat systems provides an in-depth analysis of market segments such as balloon shape, aerostat class, payload, applications, and geographical regions. The report also includes a section on market positioning analysis of the key players operating in the market. The section also consists of a detailed analysis of various business strategies adopted by the leading players in the market. The aerostat systems market worldwide stood at a revenue of US$ 3,758.9 Mn in 2014. The market is expected to expand with a CAGR of 12.9% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022.

Target Audience

  • Industry Investors
  • Aerostat Systems Manufacturers
  • Payload Equipment Manufacturers
  • End-users

Overall, the research study provides a holistic view of the global aerostat systems market, offering market size and estimates for the period from 2015 to 2022, keeping in mind the above-mentioned factors.

Product (Class) Segmentation Analysis

Based on the class of the aerostats, the global aerostat systems market is segmented into the following categories

  • Small Class (<20m)
  • Medium Class (21m to 50m)
  • Large Class (>50m)

The global market for aerostat systems is dominated by medium-class aerostat systems. As of 2014, the segment accounted for the highest market share, in terms of revenue, of more than 50% of the total market. The medium aerostat systems have sizes in the range of 21-50 meters and hence are suitable for most aerostat applications. Due to their reasonably large size and affordable cost, these aerostat systems are popularly used for various major applications such as intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance, among others.

Thus, the demand for medium-class aerostat systems is expected to remain strong during the forecast period, thereby retaining the dominant position in the market. Furthermore, in terms of growth rate, the large class aerostat systems segment is expected to witness the highest growth in the market during the forecast period. The segment growth is estimated mainly due to their better performance and payload capacity as compared to the other class types of aerostat systems. Moreover, the large class aerostat systems are capable of operating in the high altitude category and hence are being used for delivering balloon-based wireless communication. Thus, with increasing investment in aerostat-based wireless communication projects, the demand for large-class aerostat systems is expected to spur substantially in the coming years.

Application Segmentation Analysis

The aerostat systems market is categorized, on the basis of end-use applications, into the following segments:

  • Defense
  • Homeland Security
  • Commercial
  • Others (Environmental Monitoring, Time Synchronization, etc.)

The global aerostat systems market, on the basis of end-use applications, was dominated by the defense segment as of 2014, comprising a market share of over half of the total market, in terms of revenue, worldwide. The aerostat systems are majorly used for surveillance across borders. Since these systems offer persistent surveillance for several months with minimal maintenance, these are the most preferred type of platforms for management across different areas.

Apart from land borders, aerostat systems are also used for surveillance in other defense segments such as air and maritime surveillance. Due to better cost-effectiveness and ease of operation, the aerostat systems are expected to retain their prominent position for surveillance applications. As a result, the defense sector is expected to hold its dominant position, in terms of revenue, throughout the forecast period in the global market. Nevertheless, the commercial segment is expected to register the highest CAGR from 2015 to 2022 globally. The commercial segment comprises the use of aerostat systems for commercial applications such as communication, aerial imaging, commercial advertising, event monitoring, and other broadcasting services. With expanding adoption of aerostat systems, especially in the communication sector, the segment is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period.

Payload Segmentation Analysis

Aerostat systems market is categorized, based on the types of payload, into the following segments:

  • Communication Systems
  • Surveillance Radar Systems
  • Electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) Systems
  • Navigation Systems

As of 2014, the market for aerostat systems was dominated by the surveillance radar systems segment, with a market share of more than 40% in terms of revenue, globally. Surveillance radars are surveillance systems that are mounted on the aerostat for the detection of various objects such as ships, aircraft, and other obstacles. Surveillance radars form the most common type of payloads used on aerostat systems. These systems are used mainly in military applications for persistent threat detection. Due to the anticipated solid need for surveillance systems worldwide, the segment is estimated to retain its dominant position in the market throughout the forecast period. Further, with growing precision in electronic intelligence, the electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems are expected to rapidly capture the aerostat systems market in surveillance applications. EO/IR systems are among the most advanced and accurate payloads used for surveillance and imaging purposes.

These systems are capable of detecting objects even during dark hours, thereby delivering accurate surveillance and imaging. Furthermore, the communication systems segment is expected to register the highest growth rate in the coming years. The communication segment growth is expected to be mainly driven by the major ongoing projects based on the concept of delivering wireless communication through aerostat systems.

Aerostat systems refer to airborne platforms, similar to blimps, which are designed to stay aloft for several days/months. The aerostat systems gain lift with the help of lighter-than-air (LTA) gases such as hydrogen, helium, and others. The basic components of aerostat systems include an aerostat envelope, lifting gas, mooring station, tethering rope, winches, payload, and ground control station. The operational stages involved in a tethered aerostat system are inflation, mooring, lift-off, flight, deflation, and recovery. Due to their consistent buoyancy, aerostat systems are used for several applications such as surveillance, electronic intelligence gathering, aerial imaging, communication, and others. Aerostat systems are among the cheapest alternatives for unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites and hence are expected to be used on a large scale in the coming years.

Aerostat systems have been in use since the early 80s for surveillance applications, majorly in the U.S. defense sector. Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) is among the first aerostat systems used for surveillance purposes. These systems were used to have persistent surveillance with minimal initial and maintenance costs. The most prominent deployment site for aerostat surveillance systems was the U.S.-Mexico border for curbing illegal immigration and drug trafficking along the border. Thus, over a period of time, surveillance emerged as the most prominent application of the aerostat systems. Nevertheless, with advancements in the sizes and payload carrying capacity, aerostat systems are now used for various other applications such as environment monitoring, communication, and EO/IR imaging. Depending upon the tether length and class (size), these systems can operate at altitudes ranging from a few hundred feet up to 65,000 feet from the Earth’s surface.

Traditionally, the envelope for aerostat systems was available only in the ellipsoidal shape. This, however, results in greater drag resulting in the possibility of blowing the aerostat systems in strong winds. Consequently, several new designs are emerging to make the aerostat systems' operation more reliable and stable. Some of the aerostat systems manufacturers are now turning towards spheroidal and multiple hull ellipsoidal aerostat systems for better operation. For instance, the spheroidal aerostat systems offer better aerodynamics as compared to ellipsoidal aerostat systems. Hence, they can better withstand strong winds and remain aloft for a longer period of time. Through these advanced designs, aerostat systems are capable of withstanding harsh environments at high altitudes. For instance, the wireless communication project called the Project Loon by Google, Inc. is designed to use high-performance spheroidal aerostat systems in the high altitude category.

Based on the balloon shape, the aerostat systems market is segmented into spheroidal and ellipsoidal aerostat systems. On the basis of class, the market is segmented into small-class (<20m), medium-class (21m to 50m), and large-class (>51m) aerostat systems. Further, the market is segmented, on the basis of applications, in the military, homeland security, commercial, and others. The other segment comprises environmental monitoring, time synchronization, and traffic monitoring. Different payloads considered under the scope include surveillance radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems, communication systems, and navigation systems.

On the basis of geography, the global aerostat systems market is segmented as per the following regions and countries.

North America

  • The U.S.
  • Rest of North America


  • EU7
  • CIS
  • Rest of Europe

Asia Pacific

  • Japan
  • China
  • India
  • Australasia
  • Rest of Asia Pacific

Rest of the World

  • The Middle East and Africa
  • Latin America

In 2014, the global aerostat systems market was dominated by North America, accounting for market share, in terms of revenue, of over 36% of the total market. The U.S. is the largest consumer of aerostat systems as compared to other countries worldwide. This is mainly due to high spending on aerostat systems for robust surveillance along the border and civil areas. Additionally, due to the presence of a large number of companies in the region, the market here is competitive and dynamic in nature. As a result, the region is estimated to hold its dominant position in the market, in terms of revenue and adoption, throughout the forecast period. However, Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the most promising market for aerostat systems in the coming years. The market growth in the region is mainly driven by China, India, Japan, and some Southeast Asia countries. Additionally, due to upcoming projects for balloon-based wireless communication, the demand for large-class spheroidal aerostat systems is expected to soar substantially in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions

The market for Aerostat Systems is expected to reach US$ 3,758.9 Mn in 2028.

The Aerostat Systems market is expected to see significant CAGR growth over the coming years, at 12.9%.

The report is forcasted from 2015-2022.

The base year of this report is 2021.

TCOM L.P., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lindstrand Technologies Ltd.,Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. are some of the major players in the global market.

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Published Date:  Mar 2016
Category:  Aerospace & defense
Report ID:   57722
Report Format:   PDF
Pages:   120
Rating:    4.4 (60)
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