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Unmanned Market Research-Project Examples

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Offshore Survey, Equipment Installation, Logistics Support-New Market Opportunity

Unmanned Underwater Market Research

Project Scope: An industry leader in oceanographic instrumentation, undersea sensor solutions, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for defense and security, ports and harbors, civil government, ocean science, and commercial oil and gas was seeking to expand and diversify their business in two areas. Both were related to positioning solutions (high-performance, low logistics), networked undersea, for mid-and deep water survey, construction, and installation. 

The company needed an independent assessment and supportable research on potential size of markets, realistic market share, average pricing, key customer targets, competitive advantages and disadvantages, and future competitive strategies. They also required specific feedback from potential decision-makers to features and capabilities in their preliminary product designs. 

Execution: This project involved initial assembly of relevant secondary data, and extensive validation from target group of subject matter experts including future potential customers. This covered mission solution providers, offshore operators, integrators and equipment installers, geophysical experts. and a variety of other top providers.  

Result:  As a result of this independent assessment, this oceanographic company was now able to make highly informed decisions in final product design, competitive differentiators, initial pricing, and draw up a well-reasoned forecast and financial plan. Key decision-maker input provided a critical validation for final recommendations to client. The research also identified several top prospects interested and willing to deploy and test these new solutions. Overall, this project enabled this company to accelerate its original plan by over 18 months compared to what it could have done internally.

Unmanned Air Vehicles-Flight Controls-Market Opportunity Analysis

Unmanned Defense Flight Controls

Project Scope: A supplier of electro optical and motion control stabilization solutions needed an independent update of potential new opportunities in unmanned platforms in US and international defense markets including UK, Germany, France, and Israel.

The objective was to expand business in this area as unmanned ptforms increasingly required new EO and motion control solutions for better flight controls.

Military mission emphasis on high altitude endurance, more sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, new enemy threats, and other factors were important market drivers. Key questions included: Most attractive platforms? Addressable market size and growth? Major customer (OEM, related vendors) targets? Key competitors and advantages-disadvantages?

Execution: This custom project involved an independent analysis and original update of all potential opportunities and relevant content, segmented by primary and secondary flight controls. 

This analyzed latest budget data, and most-recent published information data to produce a customized list of highest- potential targets, both new build and upgrades. 

Direct input from key contacts at various U.S. military program offices and MODs was also assembled to clarify and better understand requirements, unmet needs, and changing requirements. In addition relevant OEMS and other vendors of importance were identified. This included AF, Army, Navy, and Joint Forces program personnel involved with Procurement, RDT&E, and Operations/Maintenance. 

The final presentation included a detailed landscape analysis, competitive assessment, list of 56 key programs to pursue, critical points of contact and other personnel, and specific capture recommendations for company pursuit team.

Result: This company was now able to rapidly implement a targeted sales plan in a short time following final report presentation, well ahead of its original plan using internal staff.

With this level of detail, particularly specific pursuits identified and detailed in the assignment, the company also revised its sales goals upward leading to a successful new business development effort in this unmanned aviation area.   

Power Utilities-Unmanned Aircraft System Opportunity Assessment

Project Scope: A leading provider of small unmanned aircraft systems for US and global military applications was seeking to diversify and expand its business into energy, oil & gas, and transportation infrastructure markets. Power utilities were a key near-term target as they traditionally performed safety inspections manually (either personnel climbing towers or deploying fixed wing/helicopters.  

Major drivers included cost savings and improved safety (liability) for utilities. Emergence of BVLOS and FAA willingness to provide waivers when adequate safety measures were in place were also key factors. Additionally this company had developed new automated, remote sensing, aerial inspection solutions for improved data gathering and analysis. 

Unmanned Power Utilities Research

ExecutionThe objective of this custom research project was to identify, analyze, and describe specific opportunity directions in the Power Utility market which would generate the most attractive price/margin and revenue growth for this company’s high-end UAS data solutions including specific pricing to capture maximum achievable total addressable market. This research would also recommend specific next steps and go to market strategy for this market. 


This involved direct interviews with key decision makers in Transmission, Distribution, and Power Generation sectors at a wide range of top U.S. power utilities in various geographic regions. This gathered original, in-depth feedback on traditional practices, unmanned experience, particular applications where a high-end UAS solution would be of most value, and other issues. It also gathered detailed insights on manned and unmanned solutions deployed, competitive approaches, changing needs, and decision process to engage a new UAS supplier. Final calculations also used in-house market intelligence and select secondary data.  

This research identified several key opportunity directions addressable by this company’s solutions and specific price points, addressable overall market size, competitive pricing (manned, unmanned, flight services). It also recommended key capabilities this company should offer in future UAS designs, and specific recommendations on "go to market" strategies to secure new power utility customers.  

Result: As a result of this custom research and analysis, this company now had a custom, in-depth understanding of the power utility market tailored specifically to its unique offerings and interests. This also included key use cases it should emphasize and specific prospects to target. , They were able to implement a targeted sales plan following STS final report presentation, well ahead of its original plan using internal staff. 

Counter UAS Market Research

Drone Detection and Identification Technology-Counter UAS Component Solution

Project Scope: A technology company with a unique drone detection technology having ability to automatically detect and identify approaching drones required a custom assessment of market interest, business potential.


An emerging market with evolving regulations, and many potential segments of interest, this company needed informed guidance from key prospects, decision-makers and influencers on design features, competitive landscape, and key sales target opportunities for its new offerings. 


Although many general market studies have been published regarding overall industry size and growth, this company offered a unique solution, and therefore needed and analysis based on its particular solutions, not the market in general.    

ExecutionThis research directly engaged a cross-section of 20+ government, commercial, and civil organizations including those operating in critical infrastructure markets. Each were presented with an illustration of this new concept, obtaining direct feedback on likely purchase interest, decision process to procure, timing, major reasons, key features of interest, competing technologies or products, and other factors. Based on this direct feedback, as well as incorporation of select and verifiable market data, a detailed business case was developed for potential market share, growth, and a roadmap for key customers and initial target opportunities for near-term focus.        

Result: Instead of relying on theoretical calculations or comparing similar business model input for justification, this company now had a custom assessment based directly on its major design elements. This research was foundational to the company’s ultimate business assessment, market strategy, and customer pursuit plan, enabling it to make critical decisions it was otherwise unable to execute. 

Unmanned Fire Management Research

Aerial Drones, Unmanned Ground Vehicles-US, Global Forest Fire Fighting Market-Government Contracts

Project Scope: Top government contractor of aircraft equipment and services interested in expanding its business in US and global forest fire fighting market. Mounting problem of major forest fires was driving governments at many different levels to consider new solutions and increase spending to address this growing issue. This company extensive capabilities in advanced imaging, manned aircraft, drones, ground vehicles, communications, training, and logistics services.


This company needed a customized assessment of relevant contract opportunities where they would have an advantage over competitors. Key questions: current solutions (aerial tankers, drones, and ground vehicles); buying versus leasing; key agencies (federal, state, county, municipal levels); lead legislative committees, key congressional personnel shaping policy in this area?

Execution This assignment 1) analyzed the present market landscape (current governance, policies, budgeting and spending, drivers for change); 2) identified existing and needed technology tools; 3) developed feedback on likely interest for this companies advanced technology solutions; 4) calculated addressable contract market size and growth in key opportunity segments; 5) recommended specific strategies client business units should pursue to successfully penetrate this market; and 6) analyzed key competitors, solutions they were promoting, and outlined strategies they were pursuing.

This involved extensive analysis of published government budget and procurement data as well as latest market assessment of various solutions deployed globally.

Direct research was conducted with over 40 experts and key decision-makers at US federal agencies ( Department of Agriculture, Forest Service) as well as state and municipal government agencies, current technology providers, and various firefighting and fire management experts.       

Result: this company now had an up-to-date understanding of this developing opportunity including detailed feedback on highly sensitive information from top experts and government officials regarding current problems, likely changes, and required solutions.


This along with a projection of future contracts and potential value across a number of different procurement categories gave this company a highly valuable and actionable understanding of the attractiveness of pursuing relevant contracts in this emerging area.

Armed with this analysis, which was custom to its unique interests and capabilities, the company was now able to develop specific action steps to shape future requirements in the direction of its particular solutions and experience.

As increased funding became available in forest fire and prevention, this company was well-positioned to win sizable new contracts in this area

Accelerating Client Growth-Delivering Consistent Value
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