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: Lidar/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction.
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.
Innovation S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry
LiDAR/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction is a key innovation area in aerospace and defence
A shift away from analogue equipment has left systems vulnerable to increasing levels of electromagnetic interference. In LiDAR/Radar systems, this interference can disrupt the operation of the technology, thus requiring that methods of interference reduction be developed. If not controlled, interference can lead to issues such as ghost targets appearing, when objects are being tracked.
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 50 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of LiDAR/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction.
Key players in LiDAR/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction – 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 LiDAR/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Alphabet is one of the leading patent filers in Lidar/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction. Alphabet has submitted patents related to reducing interference when using Lidar to track objects, as well as patents for calibration which is of importance when devices are responding to interference of any kind. Some other key patent filers in the area include Robert Bosch Stiftung, AEye, and Apple.
In terms of geographic reach, Boeing leads the pack. Israel Aerospace Industries and Alphabet stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of application diversity, Israel Aerospace Industries held the top position, followed by Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Microsoft, Raytheon Technologies, and Apple.
Lidar/Radar electromagnetic interference reduction has both commercial and military applications. Subsequently, patent filings aren’t limited to aerospace and defence companies. Aerospace and defence companies that have submitted patents related to this technology include Boeing, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lockheed Martin, Thales, and Raytheon Technologies.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.