Updated: November 20th, 2019

The growing number of commercial drones creates demand for connectors that enable quick swapping of batteries and storage.

By Terry Costlow, Contributing Editor

The takeoff of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market in areas beyond defense deployments is opening a solid growth market for connector suppliers that can provide compact, lightweight products to commercial and industrial users. Reliability and versatility are also requirements for connectors that let operators quickly land UAVs, swap out sensors, memory modules, and battery packs, then resume flying.

Military drones

Military users have pioneered techniques that enable quick change-outs of sensors and other modules.

Though military applications have dominated the use of drones, businesses are now seeing the benefits of aerial observation. Drones are rapidly expanding beyond the military market, addressing a range of industrial applications including: oil and gas, construction, warehouse inventory, forestry, mining, utilities, and agriculture.

BI Intelligence expects commercial drone shipments to soar to 805,000 in 2021, a CAGR of 51%. There are several niches within this category. Oil and gas exploration and production are among the fields that are already utilizing UAVs, and construction and security have adopted drone technology as well.