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 Internet of Things in defense: GPS augmentation. Buy the report here.
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, satellite-based positioning, GPS augmentation, and lidar-sonar fusion are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Lidar weather forecasting, coherent LIDAR imaging, and lidar solid state photodetectors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is electronic intruder alarms, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the aerospace and defense industry
GPS augmentation is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
GPS augmentation is a system that helps by providing accuracy, integrity or any improvement to positioning or navigation which is external to the GPS itself.
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 390+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of GPS augmentation.
Key players in GPS augmentation – 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 GPS augmentation
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Qualcomm provides several GPS solutions including via satellites. These systems provide GPS corrections and integrity monitoring. The company has several satellite systems based globally to provide these capabilities, with a Chinese system currently in development. It partnered with Huawei to provide this capability with 5G enhancements.
GPS in coming years will likely continue to be supported by satellite systems, which will augment existing capabilities providing increased precision amongst other features.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Aerospace & Defense.