Drones are on the rise. In fact, use of drones is only limited by our imagination – from merely recreational (think “drone races”) to delivering packages (as promised by Amazon) to a range of life-saving military uses (such as real-time battlefield imaging). Emerging high speed, small size, and highly efficient gallium nitride power semiconductors are key contributors to the expansion of drone applications, including onboard equipment such as LiDAR imaging and navigation systems and 4G/5G communication transmitters. Let’s take a look at how GaN technology and the expansion of drone applications intersect.
A drone, or more technically, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft without a pilot on board. Control of the drone is accomplished either under remote control from the ground or under control of an onboard computer.
Although drones originated mostly in military applications, civilian drones now vastly outnumber military drones, with estimates of over 9 million consumer drones to be sold in 2016 world wide for a total market value of near $3 billion.