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Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Unmanned Surface Vehicle Market

Unmanned surface vehicles are the machineries that are operated remotely on water surface without any human involvement. They are also known as autonomous surface vehicles. The unmanned surface vehicles are more valuable in oceanology due to their enhanced flexibility and cheaper in cost than the weather ships or research vessels. The unmanned surface vehicles has increased the interest of various government organizations and private manufacturers and due to this they are investing huge sums of money in developing the autonomous machinery. These unmanned surface vehicles has the ability to replace the conventional ocean vessels as they are either fully automated or semi-automated and they reduce the risk of operators in the manned surface vehicles.

The rising demand for the unmanned surface vehicle is due to the research in the fields of oceanography and hydrography. Another major driving factor of market for unmanned surface vehicle is the growing need for monitoring water quality and anti-submarine warfare. The rising demand for advanced, reliable and efficient unmanned surface vehicles and the trend to modernize military sector worldwide is expected to drive the market for unmanned surface vehicle. Moreover, increase in maritime security and threats and increasing need for ocean data mapping is driving the market for unmanned surface vehicle.

The major factor inhibiting the market for unmanned surface vehicles is the capability to understand the situation. Researches are being still conducted to improve the situational awareness of the unmanned surface vehicle. In addition, the collision detection and avoidance factor is also limiting the market to grow. Collision detection and avoidance is one of the major factor for the unmanned systems and due to this, the manufacturers are developing robust technologies to improve this limitation.

The leading manufacturers are partnering with  established players as well emerging companies to design and develop an unmanned surface vehicle that can operate for a longer period. Currently, the unmanned surface vehicles operate for 3 months at a stretch. This technological development can grow the market exponentially over the years. Moreover, another opportunity for the unmanned surface vehicle manufacturers is to collaborate unmanned surface vehicles with unmanned underwater vehicles, which will lead to improvement in the fields of naval and maritime surveillance applications, oil and gas exploration markets, and environmental surveys.

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The market for unmanned surface vehicle can be segmented based on payload, based on end user and geography.

By payload, the unmanned surface vehicle can be further bifurcated into sidescan sonar, towed array, dipping sonar, mini autonomous underwater vehicle, expandable mine neutralizers, unmanned aerial vehicle, geotechnical seabed data collector, and underway water column profilers.

The end users of these unmanned surface vehicles can be categorized as defense sector and commercial sectors. The usage in defense sector includes Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Mine Counter Measures (MCM) and Anti-Submarine warfare. The commercial sector uses the unmanned surface vehicles for oil and gas explorations, oceanology data mapping, among others.

Based on geography, the unmanned surface vehicle market can be segmented as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. The manufacturers in North America are investing huge amounts in research and development to to technologically upgrade  the existing unmanned surface vehicles and so, North America is the dominating region in the market for unmanned surface vehicle, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe.

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