The global airborne LiDAR market is expected to reach $1,010 million by 2025, from $316 million in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 16.4% from 2018 to 2025. According to a report by Allied Market Research, surge in demand for 3D imaging, declining prices of drones, and increasing applications in the aerospace and defense sector are driving the growth in the market. However, stringent regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for commercial drone usage limit the growth in the market. On the other hand, emerging applications in meteorology and autonomous vehicles along with rise in demand from the forestry and agriculture sectors create new pathways in the industry.
Lasers contributed the major market share in 2017, accounting for more than two-fifths of the total market share, and are expected to dominate throughout the forecast period. This is due to increase in usage in the military and aerospace sectors, high capital investments in LiDAR solutions for the marine and utility industries, and emerging applications in archaeology, meteorology, and autonomous vehicles. However, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 20.8% from 2018 to 2025 because of their ability to support various functions of electrical and mechanical instruments and manage numerous sensing and analysis activities in synchronization in LiDAR.