The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by automation, environmental sustainability, and operational efficiency, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), unmanned systems and satellites. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Drones in defense: drone anti-collision systems. Buy the report here.

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Data Insights Drones in defence: Drone anti-collision systems

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Drone anti-collision systems is a key innovation area in drones

Drone anti-collision systems are designed to mitigate the risk of collisions between drones and other airspace users, such as manned aircraft. They employ a combination of sensors, communication technologies, and sophisticated algorithms to detect and avoid potential obstacles or conflicting airspace traffic. Common sensor technologies include radar, lidar, cameras, and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). These sensors gather data about the drone’s surroundings, enabling the system to identify obstacles and calculate safe trajectories.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of drone anti-collision systems.

Key players in drone anti-collision systems – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to drone anti-collision systems

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 18 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 10 Unlock Company Profile
Israel Aerospace Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Thales Raytheon Systems 2 Unlock Company Profile
Topcon 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon 9 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 1 Unlock Company Profile
Faro Technologies 1 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 1 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 2 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 3 Unlock Company Profile
Brunswick 8 Unlock Company Profile 12 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 8 Unlock Company Profile
Lite-On Technology 3 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 2 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 19 Unlock Company Profile
PRENAV 9 Unlock Company Profile
SkySafe 6 Unlock Company Profile
SOS Lab 1 Unlock Company Profile
AlbaCo 1 Unlock Company Profile
Lite-On Electronics 3 Unlock Company Profile
Thinkware 1 Unlock Company Profile
Defendtex 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Boeing, a prominent player in the drone anti-collision systems sector, is the leading patent filer in this space. The company submitted patents via its subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences, focusing on detecting a lost link event that prompts the aircraft to follow a preconfigured protocol in response to the data. Other notable contributors in this field include Israel Aerospace Industries and RTX (Raytheon Technologies). These three companies stand out as leaders in both application diversity and global presence within the industry.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Drones in Aerospace and Defense.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries