The infrared market has demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of exceptional economic challenges in recent years, with forecasts indicating an average annual growth rate of 7% for the period 2021-2025.
In 2022, several technical factors will influence the growth of this market. The defense industry, pioneering many key infrared applications, continues to play a crucial role. Military forces demand increasingly compact solutions, offering superior performance and low energy consumption. The evolution towards SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) detectors is a concrete example of this trend. HOT (High Operating Temperature) technology aims to reduce the size and power consumption of coolers, making it a preferred choice for SWaP systems. Geopolitical tensions and growing budgets continue to drive market growth, with a forecasted average annual growth rate of 5% by 2026.
Surveillance solutions remain critical for various strategic and security applications such as border protection, civil and urban surveillance, as well as securing sensitive sites like military bases, nuclear power plants, oil platforms, ports, and airports. Infrared technology is essential in these areas, offering reliability and efficiency. Infrared detectors can be integrated into fixed cameras and drones for long-range and wide-angle vision, enhancing detection, recognition, and identification day and night, regardless of weather conditions, thanks to their passive detection (capturing the environment in front of the camera without the need for additional lighting).
Lastly, the leisure market presents promising opportunities, with manufacturers launching products integrating image fusion capabilities (thermal and infrared images), while improving performance and sensitivity (NETD).
The infrared market is still dominated by historical players, especially Asian companies, which continue to innovate by offering increasingly efficient and sophisticated products. Partnership, collaboration, and mergers and acquisitions strategies are commonly employed by existing companies to increase their market share in the thermal imaging sector, achieve economies of scale, and expand their global presence.
In the field of security and surveillance, favorable conditions for growth persist as technology becomes more widespread, and countries strengthen their border control activities.