The aerospace and defense industries have witnessed tremendous change in the past few years. Both sectors have seen a rising use of wearables. In the defense sector wearables are increasingly being used in the form of body-worn sensors for training and combat. Wearables are becoming ubiquitous in aerospace as well in the form of head-mounted displays and smart glasses, which are useful in providing assistance to pilots of both commercial and military aircraft. Another technology that is increasing being employed in aerospace is additive manufacturing, which enables the manufacture of complex parts and reduces the material wastage and prototyping time.
Terahertz (THz) Imaging is another technology that is seeing increased usage in the aerospace and defense sectors. THz waves are non-ionizing, and safe to use around human beings, an important reason for their increased usage. They are an emergent nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique due to their ability to easily penetrate the barriers of most dielectric materials. Smart sensors are increasingly being used in aerospace and defense due their energy efficiency and multi-functionality.
From a materials perspective, lightweight materials, due to their ability to provide a high strength-to-weight ratio, high corrosion and temperature resistance, are seeing increased adoption in the aerospace and defense sectors. A lot of the time these lightweight materials are being used in conjunction with nanocoatings, which enhance their properties. Among their functional properties, are corrosion protection and high mechanical strength, which impart higher durability to the aircraft. Lithium batteries and microgrids are also seeing increasing adoption in the aerospace and defense sectors.
The aerospace industry is also seeing an increase in the use of cloud computing platforms and XaaS, with innovation in integrated solutions such as flight planning tools and digital flight management systems. Predictive analytics are also being increasingly employed to analyze massive quantities of data and increase safety, security and efficiency.
All of the above technologies have been profiled in this study, and their impact discussed, along with regional developments and key innovators in each technology space.