The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Aircraft brake control system fault monitoring.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

180+ innovations will shape the aerospace and defence industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry using innovation intensity models built on over 262,000 patents, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, bonded fibre laminates, thermoplastic elastomer laminates, and vibration supression devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Centrifugal fan impellers, ceramic composite laminates, and gas turbine engine testing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are protective blade coatings and blade alloy welding, which are now well established in the industry.  

Aircraft brake control system fault monitoring is a key innovation area in aerospace and defence 

Complex aeronautical systems require ongoing fault monitoring, which includes the brake systems. Fault monitoring can help to avoid costly maintenance and checks. Modelling techniques as well as software make it possible to analyse systems and prevent problems. 

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of aircraft brake control system fault monitoring. 

Key players in aircraft brake control system fault monitoring – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry    

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

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

Patent volumes related to aircraft brake control system fault monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
COSCO Shipping Holdings 174 Unlock company profile
Airbus 168 Unlock company profile
Safran 93 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 56 Unlock company profile
Boeing 34 Unlock company profile
Crane Holdings 22 Unlock company profile
Meggitt 21 Unlock company profile
Raytheon Technologies 20 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 12 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 8 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 8 Unlock company profile
Honeywell International 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Airbus is the leading patent filer in brake control fault system monitoring. Aircraft bake control fault systems monitoring has significant safety relevance as well as potential cost-saving measures, and is very relevant for Airbus, which wants to reduce overall costs for its customers as well as provide inbuilt safety features. Safran is also a leading patent filer in the sector, due to its leading position in the aerospace industry and will be pursuing the same goals as Airbus and other aerospace players. Other key players in the industry are Alphabet, Boeing, Meggitt, and Raython.

In terms of application diversity Alphabet is the leader, followed by Toyota and Hitachi. By geographic reach, Alphabet stands first, followed by Airbus and Safran

Fault monitoring has significant cost saving and safety implications and will remain a key feature of aerospace patents in coming years, with aerospace leaders maintaining key positions. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.


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.