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 Space systems in defense: satellite antenna arraysBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Satellite antenna arrays is a key innovation area in space systems

Satellite antenna arrays are groups of antennae installed on a satellite. The combined signal is equitable to that produced by a large antenna, but the arrays are more cost-efficient to build and maintain due to their size.

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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of satellite antenna arrays.

Key players in satellite antenna arrays – 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 satellite antenna arrays

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Huawei Investment & Holding 14 Unlock Company Profile
Marriott International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Carlisle Companies 3 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 6 Unlock Company Profile
HEICO 5 Unlock Company Profile
Powerwave Technologies 3 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 89 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 5 Unlock Company Profile
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 4 Unlock Company Profile
ViaSat 117 Unlock Company Profile
Intertrade 9 Unlock Company Profile
Intelsat 56 Unlock Company Profile
American Tower 3 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 21 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing 5 Unlock Company Profile
M&T Bank 8 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 11 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 22 Unlock Company Profile
Maxar Technologies 21 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 28 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 10 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Gogo 29 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 3 Unlock Company Profile
Appareo Systems 4 Unlock Company Profile
AVL TECHNOLOGIES 4 Unlock Company Profile
STI-CO INDUSTRIES 3 Unlock Company Profile
Energous 8 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 14 Unlock Company Profile
Isotropic Systems 16 Unlock Company Profile
ADCOR MAGnet Systems 2 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
integraONE 2 Unlock Company Profile
Terra Drone 5 Unlock Company Profile
Airspace Systems 3 Unlock Company Profile
SWISSto12 9 Unlock Company Profile
Metawave 3 Unlock Company Profile
Movandi 4 Unlock Company Profile
Autel Robotics USA 2 Unlock Company Profile
Toolsgroup 2 Unlock Company Profile
AST & Science 20 Unlock Company Profile
L3Harris Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Lisa Draxlmaier 14 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National Research Scientific 9 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xaircraft Technology 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

ViaSat is the leading patent filer in satellite antenna arrays. In 2021, ViaSat, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, successfully tested a phased antenna array. This will be able to connect to satellites, allowing terminals to communicate in a hybrid low-Earth orbit (LEO) to medium-Earth orbit (MEO) up to a geostationary (GEO) environment. ViaSat has established an antenna array that does not physically rotate to track satellites; thus, reducing moving parts liable to damage, reducing the thickness of the antenna, and delivering rapid connectivity.  

Some other key patent filers in the satellite antenna arrays space include Thales, Intelsat, and Gogo.

In terms of geographic reach, ViaSat leads the pack, followed by Isotropic Systems and Huawei. By means of application diversity, Airspace Systems holds the top position, followed by Terra Drone, AST & Science, and Raytheon Technologies. 

Satellite antenna arrays have both commercial and military applications. Subsequently, patent filings aren’t limited to aerospace and defense companies.

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