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  NEWSLETTER • Issue 2 • September 22, 2010





• Publisher's Message


Feature Article


Product Spotlight


Where We Are Working






Request A Quote


Contact Us








Cody Benkelman is Principal Engineer at Mission Mountain Technology Associates (

providing technology services focused on imagery and geospatial data around the world.  Mr. Benkelman has 20 years experience with software development, system design, and project management in the geospatial industry. He has authored numerous publications and led training courses in topics such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS).

To contact Cody with questions or comments regarding his feature article email him at





Scott Stanley has been in Indonesia for more than 11 years; initially working two years with Harvard University leading a community- based forest management project. Afterward, Scott went on to develop a large-scale conservation program for The Nature Conservancy in East Kalimantan Province, where he managed that program for five years. In 2007, Scott formed Forest Carbon( to address the need for a locally-based, highly technical and regionally focused organization in Indonesia, capable of providing services for carbon baseline measurement, REDD project design, project implementation, and forest monitoring for the voluntary and compliance markets in REDD and improved forest management.

To contact Scot with questions or comments regarding his feature article email him at









October 5-7, 2010
Venue: Booth 1I.108, Cologne, Germany


INTERGEO ( is the world’s largest event and communication platform for geodesy, geo-information and land management.  Come join Credent Technology and see the latest applications of airborne LiDAR in S.E. Asia, including a recent data collection and processing of a tropical forest within a REDD project in Indonesia. 


Visit us in Hall 11.1, Booth #:1I.108 for demonstrations, presentations, and discussions





• Airborne LiDAR and Tropical Forestry 

March 2011

Jakarta, Indonesia


Credent Technology, a leader in providing geospatial technologies in SE Asia for more than 25 years, will host its second informational seminar on Airborne LiDAR Technology & Solutions in Jakarta this coming March, 2011.  With the focus on uses of LiDAR for tropical forestry, an international panel of presenters will join with local staff from PT Credent Tecknologi to present examples on how LiDAR can be utilized by forestry plantations, Reduced Impact Logging (RIL), UN-REDD, and the monitoring of deforestation.


Interested in attending this upcoming seminar?


Click on the image below and we'll send you more information as it becomes available. Thank You!









Sept 15 2010:
For Immediate Release
Strong LiDAR sales growth has resulted in the expansion of Credent Technology's Indonesian office, PT Credent Teknologi.
Credent Technology has recently hired an additional LiDAR system operator and a LiDAR/mapping applications engineer to assist the company's existing LiDAR team.  By adding these two staff positions, Credent now has the resources to provide rapid turn-around for small and medium scale time sensitive LiDAR collection projects in addition to current large scale LiDAR collection projects.
"Our LiDAR team has already built a strong reputation and presence with customers and partners and we look forward to further enhancing our sales and services with our new employees." said Bill Love, Managing Director, Credent Technology Pte Ltd.








Welcome to this edition of Credent Technology’s eNewsletter.   In this version, we have focused on the application of airborne LiDAR surveys for tropical forestry, due in part to the significant changes taking place with management of these forests, both in terms of trying to maximize economic value and also in attempting to minimize the environmental and social impacts of harvest activities.  Our feature article provides an in-depth look by two industry experts at a recent LiDAR acquisition in Kalimantan, Indonesia, and provides some examples of the information that can be derived from a LiDAR over flight that is beneficial to foresters.


As a follow-on, next March Credent will offer an informational seminar in Jakarta, Indonesia titled “Airborne LiDAR and Tropical Forestry”, which will provide participants the opportunity to obtain first hand knowledge of  airborne LiDAR and how it is useful for this application. 


This edition’s  “Product Spotlight” highlights a new terrestrial LiDAR sensor recently introduced by our partner Velodyne: the HDL32E, a cost effective solution for close range LiDAR work.


And please check out our “Where We Are Working” map.  If your area of interest happens to be nearby an upcoming project site, give us a call or send us an email and let us provide you with a discounted acquisition quotation.


And finally, Credent Technology will be exhibiting at the world’s largest geospatial show next month, the INTERGEO conference & trade fair in the city of Cologne, Germany…Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood!  Cheers,


Please send any comments you might have on this newsletter or suggestions for future articles to the Publisher,  Thanks!




Emerging Technologies For REDD & MRV 

Airborne LiDAR For Forestry in Asia

by Cody Benkelman & Scott Stanley


Challenges of REDD/MRV in Remote, Tropical Forests

A general consensus has emerged from the contentious negotiations around climate change that reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (“REDD”, which generally includes forest conservation, sustainable forest management, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) is an important mitigation strategy and various countries have committed more than $6 billion for this initiative in key rainforest nations.  While use of imagery from existing satellites has been adequate for monitoring large-scale deforestation, finer scale forest clearings and degradation has been challenging to detect and quantify in extensive and remote forests.

The forest management sector has received considerable attention in recent years since substantial emission reductions could be achieved without drastically curtailing timber production.  More than 350 million hectares of tropical moist forests are being managed for timber and it is estimated that emissions could be reduced by 160 megatons/year through implementing reduced impact logging techniques and improved management including better road planning and design (Putz et al 2008). However, verifying that these reductions actually took place is problematic.  Timber concessionaires selectively log annual compartments that total several thousand hectares in remote areas; in these areas, it would be prohibitively expensive and time intensive to adequately monitor compliance using on-the-ground methods.  Many of these forest areas are prone to almost constant cloud cover, which greatly reduces the effectiveness of satellites with optical sensors. As an augmentation to satellite imagery, Credent and its partners, Forest-Carbon (, and The Nature Conservancy ( are testing use of airborne LiDAR for inventory and monitoring of remote tropical forests.


Brief Description of Airborne LiDAR Technology

LiDAR is an acronym for “light detection and ranging”, similar to the more familiar term “radar” (for “radio detection and ranging”).  Distance or range measurements are made by sending a pulse of laser light out from the LiDAR system, then recording the return pulse(s) and converting round trip time to distance based on the speed of light. 



Measurements are made in 3 dimensions (X, Y, and Z), and when operated on an airborne platform (fixed wing airplane or helicopter) with the LiDAR system viewing down, the system can map terrain, land cover, and structures (vegetation, buildings, power lines, etc.) with accuracies measured in centimeters. 


The spatial resolution of airborne LiDAR data is determined by the altitude and speed of the aircraft, as well as the number of pulses (samples) collected each second.  With modern systems acquiring 100,000 pulses per second or greater, it is not unusual to collect point densities of several samples per square meter.  The resulting resolution and accuracy are higher than aerial photography (and much higher resolution than satellite data), resulting in more accurate measurements.


The additional advantage of LiDAR is that all measurements are made in 3 dimensions.  And even though the laser pulses cannot penetrate vegetation, each outgoing pulse spreads out as it moves down, and will typically generate more than one return pulse – such as from the top of a tree canopy, branches and understory, as well as the ground. 


With accurate placement of each “return” in 3 dimensions, LiDAR can be used to create a highly detailed terrain map (“bald earth” with all vegetation removed), and other valuable information is gained including canopy height, canopy closure or gaps, hydrological flow, and slope maps.  This type of detail is typically not resolvable in satellite data, and enables applications that require accurate monitoring of forest constituents.


Forest Profile From LiDAR

One additional consideration for applications requiring forest monitoring is that the high resolution and accuracy of the LiDAR data enable traceable and reproducible measurements, which is invaluable for any applications that require repeat monitoring with regard to change over time, such as MRV (Measuring, Reporting and Verification).


GIS Linkage and Analysis

A variety of software tools are available for LiDAR processing and analysis, and Credent has extensive expertise with this technology.  After completing the initial processing on the raw LiDAR data, the information can be easily imported into existing geographic information systems (GIS) enabling additional analysis.  In addition, the information can be shared with the public, management, and decision makers at all levels using web services and/or internet tools such as Google Earth. 


A Demonstration Collection

Recently, Credent participated in a demonstration LiDAR data collection project in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, over a site being monitored under the REDD forest carbon program.  Working in partnership with Forest-Carbon, two flight lines were selected to be flown that would provide a good representation of the type of terrain and land cover found throughout the region. 


The data collection was done using an Optech 3100EA LiDAR system flying approximately 300 km/hour from an elevation of 700m above ground level (AGL).  The selected site was collected under a single sortie.


To ease the initial processing and future use of the data, the flight lines were broken up into 2km * 2km tiles.  From the raw data, the following products were created by Credent:

  • Digital Terrain Model (DTM):  Utilizing the laser pulses that penetrated the canopy and struck the ground, a “bare earth” terrain model was created.
  • Digital Surface Model (DSM):  This model represents the first item that the laser pulse reflected off of, which in many cases, is the top of the forest canopy.
  • Tree Canopy Closure Map:  This is a product of LiDAR data analysis that graphically portrays the size and location of the gaps in the forest canopy (see example below).
  • Tree Height Map:  This value-added product shows the absolute height of individual or groups of trees.


  • Hydrological Flow Direction Map: This map depicts the location and flow direction of the major waterways.
  • Slope Map: This map portrays the steepness of slopes by degrees


Preliminary Results and Benefits

Preliminary analysis of the Kalimantan data shows good information was obtained with the LiDAR data set.  In a fairly short period of time, Credent was able to produce both the standard products delivered with all LiDAR collections, and also to build the value-added data sets specifically useful to forest managers (see above).


Depending on the exact management objectives and goals for the forest concession, these data sets are extremely useful for both planning and monitoring activities.  For example, with detailed terrain information, harvest planning can minimize the amount of skid roads created as well as reduce the impact of stream crossings.  The terrain information can easily be viewed as a slope map, allowing managers to easily see steep areas to avoid and allow quick and accurate calculations of the amount of area off limits to logging.

Using the detailed tree height map, foresters can develop their harvest plans by actually looking at the height and diameter of individual trees and determine those which should be cut and those which should remain (see graphic).  This enables more efficient and profitable timber management.


In addition, the tree canopy closure map clearly shows and quantifies the existing gaps in the forest canopy, and can be useful when monitoring a concession for changes over time in support of MRV and forest certification activities.


What Next:  Additional Research

LiDAR is still a relatively young technology, and as such, new analytical methods are being developed and proven each year through applied research efforts such as the recent demonstration project.  Many new value-added products are under development, and will likely be available in the future – although they are not quite proven today – such as:

  • Identification and measurement of tree crowns
  • Biomass and carbon content estimates
  • Automated change detection
  • Species (or genera) identification when LIDAR is paired with multi-band or hyper-band high resolution cameras.  


LiDAR is proving to be a valuable tool for the management of tropical forests.  By delivering highly accurate 3D data of the forest canopy and the underlying terrain, forest managers can leverage the information derived from just one over flight to develop accurate inventories and detailed management plans, resulting in better communication with all stakeholders and better decisions for long term planning.  In addition, as part of a long term monitoring program, multiple LiDAR data sets can provide a precise record of change or stability over time. 


For more information on this project or other airborne LiDAR services, please contact Mr. Hon Chuan Lee, Credent Technology:



"Improved Tropical Forest Management for Carbon Retention," Francis E. Putz,  Pieter A. Zuidema, Michelle A. Pinard, Rene G. A. Boot, Jeffrey A. Sayer, Douglas Sheil, Plinio Sist, Elias, Jerome K. Vanclay, PLoS Biol. 2008 July; 6(7): e166.





At Credent Technology, we are constantly searching for the best equipment that provides our customers with cost effective approaches to generating accurate data.   In this issue's Product Spotlight, we would like to introduce our partner Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (, an industry leader in the design and manufacturing of laser scanning technologies for mobile mapping, security, and autonomous navigation applications.


Velodyne Lidar initially created a sensor with 64 calibrated semiconductor lasers, the Velodyne HDL 64E. The entire laser array of the HDL 64E spins at up to 15 revolutions per second, and each laser is capable of firing twenty-thousand pulses per second, allowing the system to output an astounding 1.3 million measurements per second with a range up to one hundred metres.


Leveraging the success of the HDL 64E, Velodyne Lidar recently introduced the HDL 32E ( 

Based on the same operational concept of a rotating laser array with individual detectors, the HDL 32E was designed to be a much smaller (< 2kg) and lower cost option.


For additional information on either the Velodyne HDL 64E or the HDL 32E, please