Underwater UAVs are submersible, waterproof machines that are used for surveillance and military operations within a waterbody. These vehicles can be divided into two key categories based on product type, i.e. remotely operated underwater vehicles, and autonomous underwater vehicles. ROVs are operated remotely, while AUVs can be operated independently using direct human input.
The difficulty of underwater operations is one of the key factors that promote the introduction and market penetration of ROUVs. They are designed to perform both educational as well as industrial missions. In military operations, remotely operated underwater unmanned systems are used for mine-control operations. The use of remotely operated systems increases the survivability of the human operand. Thus reducing the number of lives lost during the same. On studying the components associated with ROUVs, it is noted that they consist of cameras, actuators, sensors, as well as grippers. A fine anecdote for the use of this technology is the development of the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System (SRDRS) by the US Navy. This system was built for rescue operations. The technology can save up to 16 people at underwater depths of roughly 2000 ft. The niche and risky nature of this operation required additional human assistance.
AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) are underwater vehicles that can be operated under the supervision of a human operator. The sizes of this vehicle can range from a few kilograms to thousands of kilograms. The first AUV was devised in the year 1957 for research purposes within the Arctic Waters. In the year 2000, roughly 10 AUVs were developed such as screw-driven AUVs, underwater gliders, and bionic AUVs.
As of 2016, Chinese warships seized a drone launched by the US Navy survey ship USNS Bowditch. The drone was unarmed and was deployed to collect information regarding the temperature and weather conditions underwater. The overall market for underwater UAVs is further segmented by Region, Product Type, and Application. The regional competitive mapping for this sector is provided across the geographic locations including North America Europe, APAC, the Middle East, and the RoW. The Product-wise segmentation for this market categorizes the market by Micro, Small, and Medium, Light Work Class, and Heavy Work Class. The application-based segmentation for this vertical covers Defense and Security, Scientific Research, Commercial Exploration, and others.
One of the key drivers for this market is the rise in oil and gas explorations within the commercial market. The growing population density and its inherent impact on the increase in energy consumption is one of the key factors that has led to the growth of this market. The requirement for new sources of energy and the increased reliance on the oil and gas sector are some of the key factors that account for the growth associated with this segment. Consecutively, the rise in oceanic research and the growing number of studies based on biodiversity are anticipated to propel the growth associated with this market segment.