YOGYAKARTA - Lecturer of Department of Geodesy, Faculty of Engineering UGM, Ir. Istarno, MT, succeeded to develop a digital elevation model data technology, Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar). For his research result, Istarno successfully obtained doctoral degree in the field of remote sensing for spatial data. "Lidar is a technology that uses laser beams which are carried on aircraft to measure distances. This technology can get elevation data with a density of 25 dots per square meter," Istarno said in his open doctoral exam at Faculty of Geography Universitas Gadjah Mada on Saturday (26/3). In this exam, Istarno managed to graduate cum laude. Acting as a promoter was Prof. Dr. Hartono, D.E.A., D.E.S.S., with co-promoters Ir. Subaryono, M.A., Ph.D. and Prof. Dr. Dulbahri.
To reporters, Istarno said that Lidar is one of technologies in the field of mapping which is more focused on remote sensing. This technology uses a laser wave as a sensor that fires into an object on the earth surface and records the time of reflection back after hitting the object. By using aircraft at low altitude, the technology is reliable in terms of accuracy and precision. "This technology can acquire data shortly, fast, and accurately than survey interpreter who takes a long time," said the man born in Yogyakarta in 1956.
Recording of visual objects of the earth can be done anytime, day or night with Lidar. This is different from aerial photograph that requires sunrays which give light energy on an object to make it recordable in the camera sensor. Lidar measures the period of time of the return of the wave that is fired (active). Laser wave will return after hitting an object on the earth surface. "One object can generate data within a radius of 50 kilometers," he said.
Still, Istarno said, utilization of this technology is still minimal, since it requires a fairly expensive cost in each data recording. One is the cost to rent a plane. "Utilization in Indonesia recently is at mining sector. It is rarely used by local governments. If any, it is usually for planning purposes," he added.
Unlike in foreign countries, this technology has been much adopted as a standard in preparing planning documents. Lidar can also be used for disaster-related matters, such as to know the level of building damage after a tsunami as well as the content of volcanic lava.
Not only that, this technology can be used to measure vegetation and the volume of timber in forest areas. "In terms of costs of using Lidar technology by plane, it will cost 100 thousand rupiah per hectare at a minimum of ten thousand hectares," he said.