The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the uptake of advanced technology, and growing importance of technologies such as hypersonics and advanced materials. 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 Space systems in defense: satellite antenna arrays. Buy the report here.
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.
Satellite antenna arrays is a key innovation area in space systems
Satellite antenna arrays are groups of antennae installed on a satellite. The combined signal is equitable to that produced by a large antenna, but the arrays are more cost-efficient to build and maintain due to their size.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of satellite antenna arrays.
Key players in satellite antenna arrays – 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 satellite antenna arrays
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
ViaSat is the leading patent filer in satellite antenna arrays. In 2021, ViaSat, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, successfully tested a phased antenna array. This will be able to connect to satellites, allowing terminals to communicate in a hybrid low-Earth orbit (LEO) to medium-Earth orbit (MEO) up to a geostationary (GEO) environment. ViaSat has established an antenna array that does not physically rotate to track satellites; thus, reducing moving parts liable to damage, reducing the thickness of the antenna, and delivering rapid connectivity.
In terms of geographic reach, ViaSat leads the pack, followed by Isotropic Systems and Huawei. By means of application diversity, Airspace Systems holds the top position, followed by Terra Drone, AST & Science, and Raytheon Technologies.
Satellite antenna arrays have both commercial and military applications. Subsequently, patent filings aren’t limited to aerospace and defense companies.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Space Systems In Aerospace And Defense.