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 Innovation in defense: gas turbine noise dampenersBuy the report here.

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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 stabilizing 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. 

110 innovations will shape the aerospace and defense industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry using innovation intensity models built on over 206,000 patents, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, aircraft fuel cell APUs, self-calibrating scanners, and vibration suppression devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Aircraft ultrasonic inspection, aircraft power distribution network, and contour scanning interferometry are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are precision-guided firearms and aircraft power management, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry

Gas turbine noise dampeners is a key innovation area in aerospace and defense

Gas turbine noise dampeners refers to the technology behind the reduction of fan and jet noise, which is done in part by reducing the rotational tip speed of rotor blades and reducing the fan pressure ratio.

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 gas turbine noise dampeners.

Key players in gas turbine noise dampeners – 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 gas turbine noise dampeners

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Rolls-Royce 30 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 4 Unlock Company Profile
Forvia 4 Unlock Company Profile
GE Aviation 4 Unlock Company Profile
Spirit AeroSystems 4 Unlock Company Profile
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 2 Unlock Company Profile
Melrose Industries 22 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hexcel 97 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 2 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 1 Unlock Company Profile
Snecma 14 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 1 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 78 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 127 Unlock Company Profile
Aviva 8 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 175 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 91 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 163 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
United Engine 1 Unlock Company Profile
ALCORE 2 Unlock Company Profile
M. C. GILL 1 Unlock Company Profile
Zephyros 8 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National Research Scientific 5 Unlock Company Profile
Zhang Hua 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Safran is the top patent filer in this sector. Aircraft noise reduction benefits those in the aircraft as well as those on the flightpath and leading companies are investing in the technology for this purpose. Other key companies include Airbus, Raytheon, Hexcel, Boeing and General Electric indicating that this is an industry-wide effort.

In terms of application diversity, Aviva tops the list, followed by Melrose Industries and Snecma. By Geographic reach, Hexcel is in top position, followed by Aviva and Zephyros.

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