Operational Feasibility Study of High Altitude Balloon Platform based on the Wind Environment in South Korea

  • Jungpyo Kang Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826
  • Kwanjung Yee Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826
  • Gyujin Shim Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826
Keywords: Stratospheric balloon, Navy Communication relay platform, High altitude balloon, Lighter-than-air vehicle


Naval helicopters flying at extremely low altitudes often face communication problems when the helicopter is located in the distance from the mother ship. Accordingly, new attention is being cast on the high altitude balloon (HAB) to solve this problem due to its cost-effectiveness and ability of rapid deployment to the battlefield. The balloon is one of a lighter-than-air vehicle that the blowing wind determines its speed, direction, and travel distance. Therefore, it is likely that seasonal changes in wind conditions will restrict the operation of the balloon. In this paper, the feasibility study of the balloon, which is regarded as a future communication relay platform, on the theater of operation of the Republic of Korea Navy the First Fleet was performed. The trends of the balloon trajectory for five years (2014 ~ 2018) with respect to seasonal wind variations were investigated employing the numerical trajectory prediction program. Simulated balloon trajectories of summer and winter showed considerable differences due to seasonal wind. Summer season was found that it has the most favorite flight environment for the balloon campaign. Upon reflecting on the simulation results, the HAB operating procedure, which capitalised on the Ulleungdo, was also suggested.

Author Biographies

Jungpyo Kang, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826

Mr Jungpyo Kang obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Seoul National University in 2020. He is currently working at the Republic of the Korea Navy as a helicopter pilot. His research fields of interest are the unmanned aerial vehicle, especially the future of defence fields with regard to the usage of drones in the maritime surveillance mission. 

Kwanjung Yee, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826

Dr Kwanjung Yee obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Seoul National University. He is currently working as a Professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University. His research area include: Helicopter aerodynamics, aircraft design optimization, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO), and aviation safety regarding the icing of aircraft, and development of vehicle. 


Gyujin Shim, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826

Mr Gyujin Shim obtained his Master of Aerospace Engineering from the Seoul National University, in 2018. Currently working at the Agency for Defense Development. His research interests include: Integration of satellite system, including development of CubeSat, military application of the satellite communication. 


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How to Cite
Kang, J., Yee, K., & Shim, G. (2020). Operational Feasibility Study of High Altitude Balloon Platform based on the Wind Environment in South Korea. Defence Science Journal, 70(2), 153-158. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.70.14705
Aeronautical Systems