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Synthetic Aperture Radar Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • ID: 4703443
  • Report
  • January 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 120 pages
  • Mordor Intelligence


  • Airbus Defense and Space
  • BAE Systems plc
  • Harris Corporation
  • Leonardo SpA
  • MetaSensing Group
  • Saab AB
  • MORE
The synthetic aperture radar market was valued at USD 3.32 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 6.47 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 11.6%, during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a technique which uses signal processing, to improve the resolution beyond the limitation of physical antenna aperture.With the growing demand for satellite imagery and situational awareness in emergency situations, the need for robust change detection methods is continuously increasing. Various infrastructure damage detection methods have been advanced in recent years, which is expected to increase the adoption in the synthetic aperture radar market.
  • There are multiple potential applications of SAR, such as biomass estimation, crops monitoring, vegetation cover mapping, mineral exploration, ice dynamics modelling, forest fire, oil spill, and biological water monitoring. Some of these are yet to be adequately explored, since lower cost electronics are just beginning to make SAR technology economical, for smaller scale use.
  • SAR images of the ocean surface are utilized to detect a variety of ocean features, such as refracting oceanic internal waves, surface gravity waves, wind fields, oceanic fronts, coastal eddies, and intense low pressure systems (for instance, hurricanes and polar lows), since they all affect the short wind waves, responsible for radar backscatter.
  • Additionally, SAR is the only sensor that provides measurements of the directional wave spectrum, from space. Reliable coastal wind vectors may be estimated from calibrated SAR images, using the radar cross-section. The ability of SAR to provide valuable information on the type, condition, and motion of the sea ice, and surface signatures of swells, wind fronts, and eddies near the ice edge, has also been amply utilized.
  • The association of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with the US Department of Defense (DoD), that increases R&D-related activities in SAR satellites, is expected to be a significant factor supporting the growth of the market. Also, ISRO and NASA are working together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, to launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite by 2021. The satellite is expected to cost around USD 1.5 billion that aims to study global environmental change and natural disasters.
  • However, there are limitations which may hinder the growth of the market, for example, a constant real antenna aperture size, antenna gain increases with frequency, as does brightness of the target. As range increases, atmospheric losses increase correspondingly, and at higher frequencies, it eventually overcomes any advantage, due to antenna gain and target brightness. Further, the outbreak of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the market growth due to issue in supply chain for procuring raw materials.
Key Market Trends

Military & Defense Sector to Account for a Significant Demand
  • In military applications, a synthetic aperture radar is used to detect surface features, like building complexes and missile sites, and topographical features of the surrounding terrain. Thus, it is used in battlefield reconnaissance, weapon guidance, and mission planning for future operations.
  • The increase in the military and defense spending is enabling the defense sector to develop missiles with improved precision targeting. Compared to an airborne SAR, missile-borne SAR has various important characteristics, such as high flight speed with straight movement and a large squint angle, which are crucial elements in measuring the precision in real-time.
  • With applications, such as weapons fire-control (missiles or guns) and accuracy control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, air, and spaceborne SAR systems are expected to witness a high adoption over ground-based systems.
  • Moreover, in the defense sector, wide-area surveillance has diverse applications, such as monitoring remote areas for human movement, coast guard vessels, offshore missile platforms, and the establishment of perimeter security. Technological developments have led to the increasing adoption of unmanned airborne surveillance (UAS) systems or drones.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to launch satellites, as they are expected to help the military keep an eye on hostile neighbours and safeguard the land and sea borders. ISRO is likely to launch an advanced remote sensing satellite, Risat-2A, for surveillance purpose. It is expected to be launched in 2020 on an Indian PSLV launch vehicle. It has a synthetic aperture radar that operates at 5.35 GHz in C band, and it helps in earth observation irrespective of the light and weather conditions of the area.
North America to Occupy the Largest Market Share
  • The United States has been a pioneer in the field of advanced technologies and applications across the military, agriculture, construction, and oil and mining exploration sectors. In 2016, the US government eased the laws aimed at allowing drone use for agriculture, construction, research and development, educational and academic use, and power line, and pipeline and antenna inspections, among various others.
  • This is further expected to result in increase in commercial drone fleet as well. Owing to this, the Federal Aviation Authority estimates that the commercial drone fleet will grow from 42,000 at the end of 2016 to about 442,000 aircraft by 2021, further driving the demand for SAR in drone deployment.
  • Moreover, the region is also home to major players in the market studied, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Raytheon Company. Thus, the region is a prominent innovation hub for the market studied.
  • Also, the country has the highest military spending in the world and has been proactively investing in the research and development of SAR, with efforts in deploying this technology to increase the operational effectiveness of their surveillance systems.
  • The defense sector of the country has a strong technology front, owing to its own technological capabilities and partnerships and contracts with major players, such as Lockheed Martin, that have been encouraged through legislation, policy, and organizational innovations, and have been instrumental in ensuring the development of world-class military technology related to SAR for national defense.
Competitive Landscape

The synthetic aperture radar market is moderately fragmented and consists of several international and regional vendors. Moreover, due to relatively moderate product differentiation, the companies are heavily investing in developing strategic decisions, in order to maintain a distinct competitive advantage, through collaborations and acquisitions. Some of the key developments in the market are:
  • Sep 2020 - IMSAR and Primoco UAV successfully performed the integration and preliminary flight testing of the NSP-7 Synthetic Aperture Radar on the Primoco One 150 UAV. The live flight tests in the Czech Republic verified the aircraft performance and confirmed flight endurance of up to 10 hours. With the SAR radar installed on the portside of the fuselage, the payload bay remains unobstructed and it also allows simultaneous installation and operation of the EO/IR surveillance system.
  • Sep 2020 - Finnish start-up ICEYE, which has been building and operating a constellation of Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) small satellites, raised another USD 87 million Series C round of financing. The round was led by the existing investor True Ventures and includes participation by OTB Ventures. This brings the total funding for the company to USD 152 million since its founding in 2014. The company has already launched a total of five SAR satellites and is planning to launch an additional four later this year, with a plan to add eight more by 2021.
Reasons to Purchase this report:
  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Airbus Defense and Space
  • BAE Systems plc
  • Harris Corporation
  • Leonardo SpA
  • MetaSensing Group
  • Saab AB
  • MORE
1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study



4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Attractiveness Porters Five Force Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Assessment of COVID-19 Impact on the Industry

5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Increasing Demand for Enhanced Imaging Technology for Remote Sensing
5.1.2 Increasing Geopolitical Instabilities in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific Regions, Leading to Surveillance Demand
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Performance Limitations of Synthetic Aperture Radar Systems

6.1 By Application
6.1.1 Military and Defense
6.1.2 Monitoring and Exploration
6.1.3 Other Applications
6.2 Geography
6.2.1 North America
6.2.2 Europe
6.2.3 Asia Pacific
6.2.4 Latin America
6.2.5 Middle East and Africa

7.1 Company Profiles
7.1.1 Lockheed Martin Corporation
7.1.2 Airbus Defense and Space
7.1.3 Aselsan A.S.
7.1.4 BAE Systems Plc
7.1.5 Cobham Plc
7.1.6 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
7.1.7 Harris Corporation
7.1.9 Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd
7.1.10 Leonardo SpA
7.1.11 Maxar Technologies Ltd
7.1.12 MetaSensing Group
7.1.13 Northrop Grumman Corporation
7.1.14 Raytheon Company
7.1.15 Saab AB
7.1.16 SAR AERO
7.1.17 SRC Inc.
7.1.18 Thales Group


Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Airbus Defense and Space
  • Aselsan A.S.
  • BAE Systems plc
  • Cobham plc
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
  • Harris Corporation
  • Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd
  • Leonardo SpA
  • Maxar Technologies Ltd
  • MetaSensing Group
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Raytheon Company
  • Saab AB
  • SRC Inc.
  • Thales Group
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown