High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) Market By Type (Airships, Tethered Aerostat Systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)), By Payload (Communication Systems, Surveillance Systems, Navigation Systems), By Application (Government & Defense, Commercial) - Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2015 - 2022

With the increasing need for persistent surveillance across various conflict zones, the governments of numerous nations worldwide are shifting towards high-altitude platforms that offer a wider coverage area with minimal costs. High altitude platforms (HAPs) are airborne systems operating in the high altitude category of more than 50,000 feet above the Earth’s surface.

The popular types of HAPs considered under the scope are airships, tethered aerostat systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These HAPs are largely used for surveillance systems using payloads such as surveillance radar and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems. Nevertheless, HAPs will witness substantial demand from the communication sector in the coming years.

HAPs are increasingly being used for delivering wireless communication services to remote areas. As a result, the market for HAPs is estimated to register strong growth in revenue and adoption in the coming years. The high-altitude platform's market worldwide stood at a revenue of US$ 2,508.7 Mn in 2014. The market is expected to expand with a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022.

Target Audience

  • Industry Investors
  • High Altitude Platforms Manufacturers
  • Payload Equipment Manufacturers
  • End-users

Overall, the research study provides:

  • A holistic view of the global high-altitude platforms market.
  • Offering market size and estimates for the period from 2015 to 2022.
  • Keeping in mind the factors mentioned above.

High altitude platforms refer to airborne systems (lighter-than-air (LTA) as well as heavier-than-air (HTA)) that are normally placed in the stratospheric layers ranging at altitudes of more than 50,000 feet from the surface of the Earth. The key purpose behind stationing these platforms at the mentioned altitude is the favorable conditions available at this stage coupled with increased coverage area. Layers at an altitude ranging more than 50,000 feet have lesser wind speeds, enabling hassle-free operation for the HAPs. Additionally, this altitude range is higher than those in which commercial aircraft operate.

Thus, this eliminates the possibility of any casualties between HAPs and commercial aircraft. Furthermore, HAPs are also regarded as cheaper and more reliable alternatives to satellites. Although satellites offer extremely larger coverage areas as compared to the HAPs, the cost involved in deploying and operating the satellite systems is exceptionally high. HAPs are capable of serving the same purpose within the fractional cost of satellite systems. Hence, HAPs are expected to replace satellites in most communication applications such as mobile phones, wireless broadband, digital television networks, and others in the coming years.

The market for high altitude platforms has been segmented on the basis of types as per the following products:

  • Airships
  • Tethered Aerostat Systems
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

The history of airships and UAVs dates back to several decades when these systems were intended to be used in wars. In the early 20th century, airships and UAVs were primarily used for carrying ammunition and targeting the enemy base. However, these systems were used at lower altitudes due to a lack of technology enabling high-altitude platforms. Similarly, tethered aerostat systems were earlier used only for surveillance purposes in order to monitor any activities in conflict zones. However, during the course of time and advancements in technology, the HAPs are now capable of operating at high altitudes along with various payloads such as surveillance radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems, and communication and navigation systems.

Further, on the basis of applications, the most prominent applications considered under the scope include:

  • Government & Defense
  • Commercial
  • Others (Environmental Monitoring, Space Port, Time Synchronization, etc.)

Currently, the government & defense segment dominates the high-altitude platform's market in terms of revenue and adoption. Most the nations worldwide, including the U.S., China, Russia, India, France, Japan, and others, have high defense budgets with strong investment in HAPs. Furthermore, due to threats from terrorist activities and border conflicts, the investment in HAPs for surveillance is estimated to prevail throughout the forecast period. Thus, the segment is estimated to retain its dominant position in revenue and adoption throughout the forecast period globally.

Apart from the government & defense segment, the commercial segment is projected to expand with the highest growth rate in the coming years. The commercial segment comprises communication and aerial imaging applications. The idea of providing high-speed internet and mobile communication to remote areas is the most prominent factor responsible for the high growth of this segment. Projects such as Internet.org and Project Loon are the most significant examples showcasing the delivery of HAP-based wireless communication.

Product Segmentation Analysis

Based on product types, the global high altitude platforms market is segmented into the following types:

  • Airships
  • Tethered Aerostat Systems
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

In 2014, the global high altitude platforms (HAPs) market was dominated by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) segment accounting for a market share of over 3/4th of the total market revenue.

The UAVs are the costliest type of HAPs, with average costs ranging more than US$ 100 Mn. However, despite high costs, these systems are used due to their competitive advantages, such as larger coverage area and short deployment spell. Additionally, these systems are operated through ground-based remote controllers, making them easy to navigate in any direction. This makes UAVs suitable for various applications irrespective of the operating terrain.

UAVs are popular in countries such as the U.S., China, Japan, Israel, France, India, and others. Nevertheless, the UAV market is majorly hampered due to their high initial costs, majorly in countries with less defense budget/expenditure on HAPs. As a result, the market for HAPs such as airships and tethered aerostat systems is estimated to register the highest growth in the coming years worldwide.

Tethered aerostat systems and airships are extremely low in cost as compared to the UAVs and can satisfactorily serve the purpose of UAVs. Consequently, with the emergence of projects such as the Project Loon, the demand for airships and aerostat systems is estimated to soar substantially in the coming years.

Application Segmentation Analysis

Based on end-use applications, the high altitude platforms market is categorized into the following segments:

  • Government & Defense
  • Commercial
  • Others (Environmental Monitoring, Space Port, Time Synchronization, etc.)

Based on application, the market for high altitude platforms (HAPs) is dominated by the government & defense segment, with a market share of more than 70% in revenue worldwide. The demand for HAPs in the government & defense segment can be directly related to nations' budget in the defense and homeland security sectors. HAPs such as tethered aerostat systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide excellent surveillance over large areas. Most countries worldwide are focused on deploying reliable and persistent HAP-based surveillance systems so as to monitor any activities within/pertaining to their territories.

Due to rising threats from terrorist activities and border conflicts, the expenditure on HAPs for surveillance systems is predicted to remain strong in the coming years. Thus, the government & defense segment is likely to retain its dominant revenue and adoption position throughout the forecast period across the global market. Nonetheless, due to the increasing adoption of HAP-based wireless communication, the commercial segment is expected to witness the highest growth in the coming years. The retail segment is expected to witness strong growth, majorly in the Asia Pacific and Rest of the World segments, where projects on HAP-based wireless communication are planned to be deployed in the near future.

Payload Segmentation Analysis

Based on payload, the high altitude platforms market is categorized into the following segments:

  • Communication Systems
  • Surveillance Systems
  • Navigation Systems

Based on payload, the market for high altitude platforms (HAPs) was dominated by the surveillance systems segment, with a market share of more than 70% in terms of revenue globally. Surveillance systems primarily comprise surveillance radar and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems. Another significant factor behind the high revenue share of the surveillance systems segment is their high cost as compared to other payloads, thereby contributing to higher revenue.

Since surveillance is the most prominent application of HAPs, the segment is estimated to retain its dominant revenue position throughout the forecast period. Nevertheless, the communication systems segment is predicted to witness the highest growth in the coming years. During the forecast period, the communication segment is expected to expand with a CAGR of 11.4% globally.

Communication is among the most integral components of HAPs and currently accounts for the second largest share, in terms of revenue, worldwide. Additionally, with the introduction of HAP-based wireless communication services, the demand for communication systems is expected to rise substantially during the forecast period. For instance, Project Loon by Google, Inc. has already been kicked off in New Zealand and has been proposed in India, Brazil, and some African countries. This is expected to largely fuel the demand for communication system payloads in HAPs in the coming years.

Geography Segmentation Analysis

Based on geography, the global high altitude platforms (HAPs) market is segmented into per following regions and countries.

  • North America
  • The U.S.
  • Rest of North America
  • Europe
  • EU7
  • CIS
  • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Japan
  • Chin
  • India
  • Australasia
  • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Rest of the World
  • The Middle East and Africa
  • Latin America

In 2014, the high-altitude platform's market was dominated by North America, accounting for over 34% of the total market revenue. The North America HAPs market is mainly governed by the U.S., which accounts for more than 3/4th of the total revenue generated in the region. Due to high spending on HAPs coupled with the presence of a large number of players in the region, the North America segment is anticipated to hold its dominant position in the market throughout the forecast period. However, Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest growing region in the HAPs market worldwide during the forecast period.

The demand for HAPs is mainly expected from countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Japan. In addition to the surveillance systems, the demand for HAPs is also expected to be driven by the communication applications in the Asia Pacific. For instance, Project Loon by Google, Inc. has already launched its pilot project in New Zealand. The company plans to deploy its project soon in India and some Southeast Asia countries, thereby driving the demand for high-altitude aerostat systems in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions

The market for High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) is expected to reach US$ 2,508.7 Mn in 2028.

The High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) market is expected to see significant CAGR growth over the coming years, at 9.5%.

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:   57720
Report Format:   PDF
Pages:   120
Rating:    4.3 (50)
Delivery Time: 24 Hours to 48 Hours   
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