Electric Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) 2015-2025

Electric Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) 2015-2025

IDTechEX, Date of Publication: Mar 22, 2016, 171 Pages

This unique report separately forecasts the number, unit value and market value of the global market for three separate categories - personal/ toy drones, other small drones and large drones whether hybrid or pure electric. It estimates the percentage with cameras over the years. Over all categories, the report concludes that the market will grow very rapidly to reach a total figure of $4.5 billion in 2025 and that the benefits reaped by these craft will be a multiple of that in agriculture and many other applications. They are not ideal for all missions but they are the best option for an increasing variety of missions.
To put electric drones in the context of non-electric drones, this report also forecasts size of the non-electric drone market, this being unlike the rest in being almost entirely military. The figures reveal that a growing percentage of the total market will be electric and why that will happen. Very different functions and applications are predicted including how the technology is changing radically over the coming ten years.
Pricing trends are debateable. We expect large electric UAVs to be mainly used in military missions and as alternatives to location and communications satellites. They are expected to be broadly in the price range of today's non-electric large UAVs, indeed replacing them in some cases with hybrid electric powertrains. For comparison, the popular non-electric MQ9 Reaper starts at $10.7 million. The cost of the components of small UAVs has been dropping sharply partly due to large increases in volumes sold but complexity and sophistication of new models will more than compensate for this in the view of IDTechEx expressed in the report.

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Electric Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) 2015-2025


1.1. Definition
1.2. Types
1.3. Global electric UAV market, number, unit value, market value 2015-2025
1.4. Electric vs non-electric UAVs 2015-2025
1.5. Benefits and issues
1.6. Applications 2014-5
1.7. Professional benefits
1.7.1. Most successful pure electric UAV
1.7.2. All parts subject to disruptive change
1.8. Agricultural UAV statistics 2015-2025
1.9. Border surveillance
1.10. Competition for drones
1.11. Autonomy and technology
1.12. Benefits and paybacks
1.13. Effect of 2015 oil price collapse on electric vehicles


2.1. Definitions and scope
2.2. Needs
2.3. Impediments and timelines
2.4. Benchmarking best practice with land and seagoing EVs
2.5. Specifications, challenges and functions of small drones
2.5.1. Challenges
2.5.2. Quadcopters
2.5.3. Cameras in drones


3.1. Powertrains
3.1.1. Pure electric vs hybrid
3.1.2. Convergence
3.1.3. Hybrids vs pure electric UAVs
3.1.4. Range extenders
3.1.5. Superconducting and alternative motor with range extender
3.1.6. Walkera hybrid drone with methanol range extender
3.2. Electric traction motors
3.2.1. Ultra Lightweight motors for electric drones and airliners
3.2.2. 3D printing robot flies and their motors?
3.2.3. Multicopter motors and controls
3.3. Shape, location, number, type of motors
3.4. Traction motor technology preference
3.5. Three ways that traction motors makers race to escape rare earths
3.5.1. Synchronous motors with new magnets
3.5.2. More to come
3.6. Implications for electric aircraft
3.7. Batteries
3.7.1. Construction of a battery
3.7.2. Many shapes of battery
3.7.3. Trend to laminar and conformal traction batteries
3.7.4. Aurora laminar batteries in aircraft.
3.7.5. Choices of chemistry and assembly
3.7.6. Lithium winners today and soon
3.7.7. Lithium polymer electrolyte now important
3.7.8. Winning chemistry
3.7.9. Winning lithium traction battery manufacturers
3.7.10. Making lithium batteries safe
3.7.11. Boeing Dreamliner: Implications for electric aircraft
3.8. Fuel cells
3.8.1. Slow progress with fuel cells
3.8.2. Aerospace and aviation applications
3.8.3. AeroVironment USA
3.8.4. Boeing Europe
3.8.5. ENFICA Italy and UK
3.8.6. Pipistrel Slovenia
3.8.7. University of Stuttgart Germany
3.9. Energy harvesting
3.9.1. Multiple forms of energy to be managed
3.9.2. Photovoltaics
3.9.3. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
3.9.4. ETH Zurich Switzerland
3.9.5. Green Pioneer China
3.9.6. Gossamer Penguin USA
3.9.7. Néphélios France
3.9.8. Silent Falcon™ UAS Technologies
3.9.9. Soaring China
3.9.10. Solair Germany
3.9.11. Sunseeker USA
3.9.12. University of Applied Sciences Schwäbisch Gmünd Germany
3.9.13. US Air Force
3.9.14. Northrop Grumman USA
3.10. Other energy harvesting
3.11. Regenerative soaring
3.12. Biomimetic aircraft snatch and export power?
3.12.1. IFO-Energy Unlimited in Hungary
3.12.2. Copy the birds
3.12.3. How to capture the wind?
3.12.4. Valid physics
3.12.5. How to maintain altitude?
3.12.6. Storage of energy is more challenging
3.13. Power beaming
3.14. Hybrid powertrains in action
3.14.1. Multifuel and monoblock engines
3.14.2. Beyond Aviation: formerly Bye Energy USA, France
3.15. Hybrid aircraft projects
3.15.1. EADS Germany
3.15.2. Flight Design Germany
3.15.3. GSE USA
3.15.4. Krossblade USA
3.15.5. Ricardo UK
3.15.6. Turtle Airships Spain
3.15.7. University of Bristol UK
3.15.8. University of Colorado USA
3.16. Rethinking the structural design


4.1. SUAV
4.1.1. Background
4.1.1. easyJet becomes a quadcopter user in 2015
4.1.2. UAR Postal, DJI Innovations, Estes, ISQ, Scan Eagle 2014-15
4.1.3. Mini helicopters tracking weeds
4.1.4. Drones to better understand how diseases spread
4.1.5. Drones used to monitor behaviour of killer whales
4.1.6. NMSU tests unmanned aircraft over active mine
4.1.7. Multicopter RFID readers
4.1.8. AeroVironment small UAVs
4.1.9. AirMule
4.1.10. AirShip Technologies Group
4.1.11. Hirobo Japan
4.1.12. Rotomotion
4.1.13. Robot insects
4.1.14. Robot locusts
4.1.15. Reconnaissance bugs and bats
4.1.16. Nano air vehicle
4.1.17. Lite Machines Corporation USA
4.1.18. NRL UAV from a submerged submarine
4.1.19. Skyfront Tailwind
4.1.20. Sony Japan
4.1.21. Technical University of Turin
4.1.22. Vienna University of Technology
4.2. Large electrical UAVs
4.2.1. VESPAS Europe
4.2.2. AeroVironment Helios and Global Observer
4.2.3. AtlantikSolar unmanned aerial vehicle endurance record
4.2.4. Aurora Flight Sciences USA
4.2.5. Lockheed Martin USA
4.2.6. Airbus HAPS solar plane
4.2.7. Boeing and Versa USA, QinetiQ & Newcastle University UK
4.2.8. Japanese solar sail to Venus
4.2.9. NASA Aeronautics' Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration

Date of Publication:
Mar 22, 2016
File Format:
PDF via E-mail
Number of Pages:
171 Pages
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