Synthetic Aperture Radar Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)

The Synthetic Aperture Radar Market is segmented by Application (Military and Defense, Monitoring, and Exploration), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Study Period:


Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

Asia Pacific

Largest Market:

North America



Key Players:

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Market Overview

The synthetic aperture radar market was valued at USD 2.45 billion in 2018, and it is expected to reach USD 5.18 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 11.6%, during the forecast period (2019 - 2024).  There are multiple potential applications of SAR, such as biomass estimation, crops monitoring, vegetation cover mapping, mineral exploration, ice dynamics modeling, forest fire, oil spill, and biological water monitoring. Some of these are yet to be adequately explored, since lower cost electronics are just beginning to make SAR technology economical, for smaller scale use. All the above reasons are expected to drive the market. 

  • The all-weather nature, high-resolution, and large area coverage rates of the SAR phenomenology have led to its increased usage in surveillance, as well as a growing interest in automated processing techniques, wherein features extracted from the formed imagery are used for automatic target detection and recognition.
  • With the weakness of the dollar, that has supported oil prices, and a potential escalation in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a state of political instability can be witnessed in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions which is expected to increase military spending for surveillance purposes thereby driving the growth of the market.
  • Highly developed areas of the world have been mapped to very high accuracy and precision, using ground and aerial surveying methods, which are expensive, as well as labor intensive. However, particularly in the frontier regions, where development is still in its nascent stage, the land's topography is still poorly mapped, and any existing maps are out-of-date, or of insufficient scale. Therefore, a cost-effective method is required for the production of new maps, and for updating the old ones.
  • The world's mapping industries are currently experiencing rapid technological and organizational change. Increasingly, information is needed in digital formats, enabling a sophisticated analysis to be undertaken, and producing products such as digital terrain models, over which land cover information can then be imposed.
  • However, there are limitations which may hinder the growth of the market, for example,  a constant real antenna aperture size, antenna gain increases with frequency, as does brightness of the target. As range increases, atmospheric losses increase correspondingly, and at higher frequencies, it eventually overcomes any advantage, due to antenna gain and target brightness.

Scope of the Report

Synthetic aperture radar is a form of radar that is used to create two-dimensional images or three-dimensional reconstructions of objects, such as landscapes. SAR uses the motion of the radar antenna over a target region to provide finer spatial resolution than conventional beam-scanning radars.

Military and Defense
Monitoring and Exploration
Other Applications
North America
Latin America
Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Military & Defense Sector to Account for a Significant Demand

  • In military applications, a synthetic aperture radar is used to detect surface features, like building complexes and missile sites, and topographical features of the surrounding terrain. Thus, it is used in battlefield reconnaissance, weapon guidance, and mission planning for future operations.
  • The increase in the military and defense spending is enabling the defense sector to develop missiles with improved precision targeting. Compared to an airborne SAR, missile-borne SAR has various important characteristics, such as high flight speed with straight movement and a large squint angle, which are crucial elements in measuring the precision in real-time.
  • With radar imaging having robust characteristics and being capable of functioning in varying weather conditions consistently, and remote monitoring, the use of SAR is one of the most effective methods to improve the guidance accuracy of medium and long-range missiles.
  • With applications, such as weapons fire-control (missiles or guns) and accuracy control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, air, and spaceborne SAR systems are expected to witness a high adoption over ground-based systems.
  • SAR is frequently used by unmanned aerial aircrafts to map and image terrain and to provide surveillance to track and identify moving objects owing to which the US Army had awarded a nearly USD 99 million contract for small synthetic aperture radars (SAR) systems, in a move that continues a trend toward adding radar capabilities to smaller unmanned aerial vehicles.

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North America to Occupy the Largest Market Share

  • The United States has been a pioneer in the field of advanced technologies and applications across the military, agriculture, and oil and mining exploration sectors. In 2016, the US government eased the laws aimed at allowing drone use for agriculture, research and development, educational and academic use, and power line, and pipeline and antenna inspections, among various others.
  • Owing to this, the Federal Aviation Authority estimates that the commercial drone fleet will grow from 42,000 at the end of 2016 to about 442,000 aircraft by 2021, further driving the demand for SAR in drone deployment.
  • Moreover, in the United States, after the 9/11 terror attacks, there has been a significant rise in the demand for effective security and surveillance systems. Recently, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) teamed up with Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, a supplier of innovative surveillance products, to deploy holistic security solutions to ensure the safety of the residents of Memphis. With the help of wide-area surveillance System, the Memphis city has also built a Real-Time Crime Center, which can be used to monitor live video feeds and provide crucial information to officers prior to arriving at a crime scene.
  • Owing to this, recently law enforcement authorities have started the deployment of drones for surveillance, as they offer an effective real-time solution to track fugitives. The police departments of Arkansas, Little Rock, Miami- Dade, Florida, and Arlington, Texas have reported the use of drones for surveillance. SAR technology vendors are expected to leverage the potential opportunities in the drones and surveillance departments to increase their dominance over other imaging technologies in the market.

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Competitive Landscape

The synthetic aperture radar market is moderately fragmented and consists of several international and regional vendors. Moreover, due to relatively moderate product differentiation, the companies are heavily investing in developing strategic decisions, in order to maintain a distinct competitive advantage, through collaborations and acquisitions. Some key developments in synthetic aperture radar market are as follows:

  • May 2018- Lockheed Martin put its fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency in realistic simulations of its future launch experience. The satellite has completed its tests successfully and is now at system level testing. It is estimated to be delivered to US Air Force in 2019.

Major Players

  1. Lockheed Martin Corporation
  2. Airbus Defense and Space
  3. Aselsan A.S.
  4. BAE Systems Plc
  5. Cobham Plc

* Complete list of players covered available in the table of contents below


Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Introduction to Market Drivers and Restraints

    3. 4.3 Market Drivers

      1. 4.3.1 Increasing Demand for Enhanced Imaging Technology for Remote Sensing

      2. 4.3.2 Increasing Geopolitical Instabilities in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific Regions, Leading to Surveillance Demand

    4. 4.4 Market Restraints

      1. 4.4.1 Performance Limitations of Synthetic Aperture Radar Systems

    5. 4.5 Value Chain Analysis

    6. 4.6 Industry Attractiveness Porters Five Force Analysis

      1. 4.6.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.6.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Application

      1. 5.1.1 Military and Defense

      2. 5.1.2 Monitoring and Exploration

      3. 5.1.3 Other Applications

    2. 5.2 Geography

      1. 5.2.1 North America

      2. 5.2.2 Europe

      3. 5.2.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.2.4 Latin America

      5. 5.2.5 Middle East & Africa


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      2. 6.1.2 Airbus Defense and Space

      3. 6.1.3 Aselsan A.S.

      4. 6.1.4 BAE Systems Plc

      5. 6.1.5 Cobham Plc

      6. 6.1.6 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

      7. 6.1.7 Harris Corporation

      8. 6.1.8 IMSAR LLC

      9. 6.1.9 Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd

      10. 6.1.10 Leonardo SpA

      11. 6.1.11 Maxar Technologies Ltd

      12. 6.1.12 MetaSensing Group

      13. 6.1.13 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      14. 6.1.14 Raytheon Company

      15. 6.1.15 Saab AB

      16. 6.1.16 SAR AERO

      17. 6.1.17 SRC Inc.

      18. 6.1.18 Thales Group

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


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