LONDON--Technavio’s latest report on the global nanotech-enabled aircraft power solutions market provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
The growing demand for lightweight aircraft, aircraft performance optimization, and reduction in operating costs have led to increased dispatch of reliable aircraft and rapid technological advances in engine parts and batteries. Over the last two decades, nanotechnology components have emerged as a practical alternative to conventionally manufactured parts.
Avimanyu Basu, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on aerospace components sector, says, “Growing efforts to improve the sustainability of the existing combat aircraft designs, along with the growing procurements of advanced next-generation combat aircraft, has propelled the market. These projects have influenced original equipment manufacturers and component manufacturing stakeholders to invest significantly in the development of facilities that can support the nanotechnology-based manufacturing process.”
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The top three emerging trends driving the global nanotech-enabled aircraft power solutions market according to Technavio research analysts are:
- Emergence of zero-fuel aircraft
- Adoption of ULM batteries
- Evolution of MEA
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Emergence of zero-fuel aircraft
Zero-fuel aircraft use photovoltaic panels that absorb energy from the sun and convert them into energy to thrust the engines. Of late, there has been an increasing interest in the commercial and civil sectors for using such aircraft in applications, including agriculture, aerial photography, 3D mapping, wildlife protection, and provision of internet access in remote places.
“The Solar Impulse 2 completed its first trip of 16 hours in May 2016. The primary objective of the project is to generate awareness and raise support from the governments to promote renewable technologies that can help in diminishing harmful effects of using fossils fuels,” according to Avimanyu.
Adoption of ULM batteries
A team of researchers from the University of Michigan developed a new battery technology that features an innovative barrier between the electrodes in a Li-ion battery. This barrier has been fabricated out of nanofibers extracted from Kevlar. This barrier has been found to prevent the growth of metal tendrils, which bridges the gap between two electrodes resulting in short circuits.
Apart from the nanotechnology-enabled membrane, the safety feature can be further enhanced with the aid of Kevlar’s heat resistance property. With this, the membrane can withstand higher temperatures and project a better chance of surviving a fire.
Evolution of MEA
The growing demand for MEA is having a positive impact on the changing overall military airborne platform market. The changing industry dynamics toward fuel-efficient aircraft is one of the major factors driving the need for MEA. The first phase of this trend is expected to extend till 2023 and will focus on leveraging the current technologies and their enhancements in both engines and systems in aircraft.
This will be followed by the second phase that will continue till 2030 and will be directed toward the implementation of disruptive technologies in engines and systems. Though a significant number of MEA programs are expected to take place during this period, there will be a considerable amount of reservations and restrictions, which will necessitate carefully tailored strategies.
The key vendors are as follows:
- Sila Nanotechnologies
- Cella Energy
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