Jung Sang Lidar CEO Kim Ki-jong, center in the back row, poses with employees at the firm’s headquarters in Sungdong-gu, Seoul. / Courtesy of Jung Sang Lidar

This is the second in a series of stories about Korean meteorological equipment makers seeking overseas expansion. ― ED.

By Park Si-soo

Jung Sang Lidar is flexing its muscles to sell laser-based high-end fog and visibility sensors globally. Sandy dust detection lidar is another product that the company has high expectations for.

“Our competitiveness lies in the reasonable price and multi-functionality,” said CEO Kim Ki-jong during an interview at his office in Seoul recently. “We offer products at reasonable prices. But their accuracy and creditability never fall behind products from the world’s leading makers.”

The firm’s long-term customers include the Korea Meteorological Administration and the Korea Air Force. It’s currently working to export dust detection lidar to Middle Eastern nations. In May, Kim visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar, having meetings with potential customers there.

He said the company is developing a souped-up climate sensor, in which the functions of fog visibility sensors as well as rain and snow detection are integrated. The multifunctional sensor will hit the market by the end of the year, Kim said.

“The product will draw attention from airports, road management agencies and weather agencies around the world because it will help prevent accidents caused by poor visibility,” he said. 

Jung Sang Lidar is also trying to get the size of the multifunctional sensor reduced to handheld so it can be installed in vehicles.

“A pocket-sized multifunctional weather sensor will become an essential device for self-driving vehicles,” he said. “I think there would be demand for car-mounted weather sensor from around 2020.”

Jung Sang Lidar is jointly developing an advanced multifunctional sensor for vehicles with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and the Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI). The company plans to expand its product lineup by applying the technology to various consumer products.

The CEO is committed to exploring ways to crack the Chinese, Southeast Asian and Latin American markets. He also sees growth potential in the United States, Europe and other advanced economies.

“Korean sensors are still little known globally,” he said. “But we will end up overcoming this disadvantage with our technological prowess and quality of products.”

Jung Sang Lidar plans to promote its products at the Meteorological Technology World Expo in Belgium in October. On top of this, the firm is looking for business partners in key markets.