Also known as 'near space,' the area begins roughly 20km (12 miles) above sea-level and is regarded as a death zone for drones as the thin air makes it hard for them to generate lift. Simultaneously, the extremely low temperatures of the zone means that the machines' electronic components will likely fail.
One way the Chinese are hoping to combat the its negative effects is by reducing the number of electronic components in these new drones. Last month, at a research facility in Mongolia, China successfully tested an experimental drone at an altitude of 25km (15 miles), the South China Morning Post reports.
The drones tested don't have a power motor, instead they glide through the air towards their destinations. They also don't possess onboard cameras. The drones launched using an electromagnetic pulse that caused them to accelerate them from 0-100kph within an arm's length.
"It shot out like a bullet," Yang Yanchu, one of the project's lead scientists, told the publication. The drones then glided towards their targets, which were more than 100km (60 miles) away, adjusting course and altitude automatically.