There are several air-borne and space-based sensor types that are of interest and have different characteristics in measuring forest. Remote sensing based forest inventories are superior to traditional field methods in that they are relatively cheap and rapid methods to produce up-to-date information over large areas, including inaccessible regions. However, for forest maps to be reliable it is always necessary to calibrate and validate them on the ground also.

This meeting was intended to compare the different available remote sensing techniques for quantitative estimation of forest resources. It was also intended to introduce LiDAR as a very different technique of remote sensing. LiDAR, stands for Light Detection and Ranging, provides accurate three-dimensional (3D) information on tree height and vegetation density, while  that makes LiDAR superior to other remote sensing techniques. The following is the comparison between LiDAR and regular satellite as a technique of remote sensing:

  1. LiDAR:
    1. Provides a 3D (x,y,z) view of forests;
    2. Very accurate on biomass;
    3. Very high spatial resolution;
    4. Does not provide qualitative information on tree species or forest health;
    5. Expensive to collect;
    6. Minimum area 30.000 hectares, maximum area 1.000.000 hectares;
    7. No past time series available.
  2. Satellite
    1. Can collect large amounts of image data over a wide geographical area with a high temporal frequency;
    2. Provides information on species composition;
    3. Satellite imagery provides 2D (x,y) information;
    4. Using old satellite data provides a way to define accurate forest carbon baselines in the past.

LiDAR data usually obtained from an aerial vehicle as space-borne. However, LiDAR technique is not yet developed for full-area scanning.

Prof. Tuomo Kauranne from Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, as one of the speaker, conveyed that he is looking for a room for research collaboration, especially in forestry. As suggested by the Director for Research and Innovation IPB, Prof. Iskandar Z. Siregar, it needs to be arranged further with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Perum Perhutani, the Agency for Geospatial Information, and other related institution or agency related to forestry. Government approval is also required regarding to the plan project for research collaboration. The next meeting regarding to this matter would be conducted somewhere in the future. (wsn/bkkpristekdikti)