The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT, Minister: Lim Hyesook) set up a project group on March 18 at Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) for stratospheric drone development(duration 2022~2025, total project budget: 37.5billion won, or USD $32 million). Stratospheric drones came into the limelight as they can stay in the stratosphere for a long period of time, producing little amount of space debris, and costing little for operation and maintenance.
MSIT is aiming to dominate the global drone market with the world’s best stratospheric drone that can stay at the high altitude for longer than 30 days with more than 20kilograms of equipment. The stratospheric drone will be used for disaster monitoring, marine monitoring, weather observation among other purposes.
This project will mainly focus on building a prototype and securing core technologies, but it will eventually pursue the commercialization and mass production of the drones.