ITS student models HF radio channel for doctorate

Indah Kurniawati (pink hijab) stands among lecturers, promoters, and examiners. (photo: ITS Doc.)

IO, Surabaya – The Department of Electrical Engineering inInstitut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) has produced another doctoral candidate. Dr. Indah Kurniawati ST MT was announced to have passed her dissertation defense, with a dissertation titled “Modeling of HF Skywave Multipath Multimode Radio Channel in Low Latitude Areas” on Thursday (15/8).

In her dissertation, the 124th graduate produced by ITS’ Department of Electrical Engineering, who was determined to have passed with a grade of “very satisfactory”, described various interesting things still absent from public discourse in her dissertation.

Indah, who is also a lecturer at Universitas Muhammadiyah Surabaya, admitted she was relieved after concluding her dissertation defense, especially as she had already been in the doctoral program for 12 semesters or six years. Quite a long time, full of struggle, for the new Ph. D. who took all her degrees, from her bachelors to doctoral, in ITS.

Indah stated that she was inspired after observing the large amount of destructive natural disasters recently. During such conditions, according to the ITS Electrical Engineering alumnus, amateur high-frequency radio played an important role, as it traveled through the ionosphere.

“We know that this layer isn’t effected by disasters on the earth’s surface,” said the Tulungagung-born doctor in a release received by Independent Observer.

The topic of Indah’s dissertation is useful to many as HF radio is often used as a means of emergency communications during disasters. Other than being easy to use, HF is very suitable to be used in complex terrains such as on fishing boats, disaster area, and others.

Indah hopes that the topic of her dissertation, which she put on trial in Ternate and Merauke, can result in having equipment developed and designed into a digital HF communication device for peoples living in Frontier, Outermost, and Disadvantaged (3T) regions, who are very much in need of help for communication. “Especially as I collected data in Papua where it was very difficult to communicate to the outside world,” she said worryingly.

Able to suppress illegal fishing?

Indah, who has two published journals indexed in Scopus, admitted that HF, so far, was only being used to send and receive sound. And when it can be used to send simple interisland messages, the residents of those islands would very much appreciate its utility. Indah believes Indonesia is unique as it is in a low latitude geomagnetic region. “Meaning there are complicated variations when attempting to communicate widely: that’s where the challenges are for us all,” she said firmly.

We are aware that the Frontier, Outermost, and Disadvantaged (3T) waters are more at risk compared to other regions as difficult access and terrain alongside lack of supervision means it attracts illegal fishing attempts. When Indah and her colleagues collected data in Ternate and Merauke, which are known as 3T regions, they found a high use of radio.

According to the doctor, who was aided by her advisor Prof Ir Gamantyo Hendrantoro MEng PhD, that if further developed, her dissertation topic could help suppress illegal fishing and help protect Indonesia’s territory and the integrity of ecosystems in 3T areas. This was not denied by the chair of the dissertation defense, the dissertation promoter, and the examiners judging the defense. Participants who attended defense seemed enthusiastic about the explanations given by Indah. (*/esti)