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Synthetic Aperture Radar Market Trends

ID: MRFR//9475-HCR | 110 Pages | Author: Swapnil Palwe| July 2024

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Overview

Synthetic Aperture Radar Market is expected to reach USD 13.4 billion by 2030 and Grow at a  CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast, 2024–2032.

Synthetic aperture radar is a form of radar which is used to create 2D images or 3D reconstructions of objects, such as landscapes. Synthetic aperture radar uses the motion of the radar antenna over a target region in order to provide finer spatial resolution than conventional stationary beam-scanning radars. It is mounted on a moving platform, such as a spacecraft or aircraft, and has its origins in an advanced form of side looking airborne radar. The distance the SAR device travels over a target over the period when the target scene is illuminated creates the large synthetic antenna aperture. Typically, the larger the aperture, the higher the image resolution will be, regardless of whether the aperture is physical or synthetic this allows SAR to create high-resolution images with comparatively small physical antennas.

COVID-19 Analysis

Due to COVID-19 situation, the R&D in SAR systems has been hampered due to the declared lockdowns and government restrictions on public gatherings. Slowing sign in economies of different countries has been observed due to COVID-19 effect, which may limit governments investment in their defense projects. Such reduction in investment will affect the growth in synthetic aperture radar market. Travel restrictions and reduction in military activities due to COVID-19 has also adversely effected growth of synthetic aperture radar market, as synthetic aperture radar is used in various military applications. Rising demand in global synthetic aperture radar market in upcoming quarter as industry’s production has started to get momentum after the tough phase of COVID-19.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Dynamics

Increasing demand for technologies providing environment awareness, growing demand of effective surveillance & communication network, and increasing deployment of space-based radars are factors expected to drive the growth of the global synthetic aperture radar market over the forecast period. However, the development cost of synthetic aperture radar is high is hampering the growth of the synthetic aperture radar market over the forecast period. Increasing development of dual-band synthetic aperture radars and automation & miniaturization of radars for unmanned aerial vehicles & unmanned combat vehicles are expected to drive the growth of the global synthetic aperture radar market over the forecast period.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market DRIVER

Increasing demand for synthetic aperture radar from military and defense sector

Rising demand for synthetic aperture radar from military applications, which is used to detect surface features, such as missile sites, building complexes, and topographical features of the surrounding terrain. In addition, SAR is used for weapon guidance, battlefield surveillance, and mission planning of upcoming operations. Increasing in military and defense spending enables the defense sector to develop missiles with improved precision targeting. Compared to an airborne SAR, missile-borne SAR has various essential characteristics, such as high flight speed with straight movement, crucial in measuring precision in real-time. Weapons fire-control and accuracy control, surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance missions, air and spaceborne SAR systems applications are projected to witness higher adoption than ground-based systems. Furthermore, in the defense sector, wide-area surveillance has diverse applications, such as monitoring remote areas for human movement, coast guard vessels, establishment of perimeter security, and the offshore missile platforms. Developments in technology of the same are leading to increasing adoption of unmanned airborne surveillance (UAS) systems or drones.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Opportunity

Rising development of dual-band synthetic aperture radars

Rising development of dual-band synthetic aperture radars, increase in the miniaturization and automation of radars for UAVs and unmanned combat vehicles and rise in the research and development activities in the market will further create new opportunities for synthetic aperture radar market in the forecast period. Furthermore, synthetic aperture radars instruments are active sensors as they can emit their energy toward the Earth and measure how that energy is scattered after encountering the Earth’s surface. It uses radar technology for sensing energy in the microwave and radio portions of the spectrum. These types of instruments do not depend on the Sun's energy to collect surface data, and SAR satellites can operate well both day and night. The various advantages offered by the synthetic aperture radars systems; it is a significantly underused technology compared to traditional optical imagery.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Restraint

The Cost Involved in The Development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar

The cost involved in the development of a synthetic aperture radar is a major factor restraining the growth of the global synthetic aperture radar market. Significant investments are required at different stages of the value chain of the synthetic aperture radar industry. However, issues of space deorbiting and debris is major restraint factor restraining the market for the synthetic aperture radar during the forecast period.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Segmentation

The global synthetic aperture radar market has been segmented based on component, platform, frequency band, application, mode, and region.

Based on component, the synthetic aperture radar market has been segmented into receiver, transmitter and antenna.

Based on platform, the market has been segmented into airborne and ground. The airborne segment is further bifurcated into spacecraft, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Ground-based SAR is a short-range device used for monitoring the earth surfaces. It is used to monitor safety-critical deformation applications like mining and tunnel construction, structural health monitoring, and quarry, and cut slope and landslide monitoring. Ground-based SAR can be mounted on a moving vehicle or a structure due to which it has been used for commercial and urban monitoring in recent years. The system has been deployed to monitor, scan, detect, and capture applications like archaeology, road conditions, detecting underground pipes and cables, buried bodies, and hidden objects. These systems are expected to witness steady growth over the forecast period owing to their limited range of scanning the areas

Based on frequency band, the market is segmented into X Band, L Band, C Band, S Band, K, Ku, Ka Band, UHF/VHF Band and Others. C band SAR operates between the ranges of 7.5-3.8 cm, has moderate penetration ability, and is suitable for applications like maritime ocean navigation, vegetation mapping, and snow mapping. While most SARs in the past deployed L and C bands, the L band is expected to grow at the highest rate due to its high penetration capability. The X band SAR operates at a lower wavelength range of 3.8-2.4 cm but provides high-resolution images, which makes it suitable for defense surveillance, agriculture, and analysis of wind movement over the ocean surface and urban monitoring. Such benefits are expected to increase the adoption of single frequency radars and significantly contribute to the segment growth.

Based on application, the market has been segmented into defense, commercial, public safety, environmental monitoring, natural resource exploration and others. The governments have increased military spending to develop and integrate missiles along with SAR, which will improve the targeting and pointing accuracy of the missile. The usage of SAR has added a new dimension to reconnaissance. It led to the development of technologies like foliage penetration and ground moving target indication, which is expected to increase the adoption of these systems in military operations.

Based on mode, the market has been segmented into multimode and single mode. Multi-mode systems possess the ability to capture images based on the application requirement. Multi-mode SAR also offers a cost-effective solution compared to single-mode SAR, which can capture application-specific images.

The global Synthetic Aperture Radar Market has been analyzed for five regions—North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Regional Analysis

The geographic analysis of the global synthetic aperture radar market has been conducted for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America.

North America synthetic aperture radar market is a major players in the market, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Raytheon Company. The presence of such significant players drives the technological investment for synthetic aperture radar leading to the market's growth.The United States is the most significant defense budgets across the globe and has been proactively investing in R&D activities. The defense budget is increasing each year rapidly. For the fiscal year 2022, the defense department proposed USD 715 billion for the Pentagon, an increase of about USD 10 billion from what was allocated to the Pentagon in FY 2021. The budget proposal for Pentagon includes the largest ever investment for research, development, and engineering at USD 112 billion. The adoption of synthetic aperture radar has been widely seen in the satellites for government and commercial applications. The technology provides benefits, such as achieving precise imaging in darkness and cloud applications, gathering elevation, and moisture levels. Several companies in the region have made strides toward providing high-quality synthetic aperture radar imaging at lower costs by leveraging small satellite developments.  

Asia Pacific market is expected to register the highest growth rate over the forecast period, with China and India being the major contributors in this region. In 2019, China launched Gaofen-7, an earth observation satellite with synthetic aperture radar, while India Space Research Organization (ISRO) and NASA are working together to launch NISAR, an earth observation satellite in 2022.  In addition, increased demand for border security surveillance is expected to boost the market growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Market Competitive Analysis

The global synthetic aperture radar market is witnessing a high growth over the forecast period. SAR uses the motion of the radar antenna over a target region to provide finer spatial resolution than conventional beam-scanning radars. The study highlights key applications, such as military and defense, monitoring and exploration, and other applications, across regions. Major players have opted for partnerships, collaborations, acquisitions, and product developments as their key organic growth strategies to enhance their positions in the market and cater to the demands of synthetic aperture radar market across various industry end-users.

Key Players

The key players in the global synthetic aperture radar market are UrtheCast Corp., Thales Group, SkyGeo, Saab AB, Raytheon Company, OHB Systems AG, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Leonardo S.p.A., ICEYE, General Atomics, Cobham plc, Capella Space, BAE Systems, and Airbus S.A.S

Key Developments

In May 2021 The United States Air Force Research Laboratory officials at Ohio base announced a USD 5.2 million contracts to BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment and a USD 4.1 million contracts to the Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory for moving target recognition project (MTR).

September 2020 IMSAR and Primoco UAV successfully performed the integration and preliminary flight testing of the NSP-7 Synthetic Aperture Radar on the Primoco One 150 UAV. The live flight tests in the Czech Republic verified the aircraft performance and confirmed flight endurance of up to 10 hours. With the SAR radar installed on the portside of the fuselage, the payload bay remains unobstructed and it also allows simultaneous installation and operation of the EO/IR surveillance system.


November 2020  US-based private equity investor Advent International (Advent) completed takeover of Cobham PLC for the value of GBP 4 billion. The takeover has obtained approval from regulators in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Australia, and Finland, following a 93% vote in favour of the deal by its shareholders. Cobham’s shares have been delisted from the London Stock Exchange after the transaction.


September 2020 Finnish start-up ICEYE, which has been building and operating a constellation of Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) small satellites, raised another USD 87 million Series C round of financing. The round was led by the existing investor True Ventures and includes participation by OTB Ventures. This brings the total funding for the company to USD 152 million since its founding in 2014. The company has already launched a total of five SAR satellites and is planning to launch an additional four later this year, with a plan to add eight more by 2021.

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