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23 Oct 2018

3D-Forensics/FTI - Mobile high-resolution 3D-Scanner and 3D data analysis for forensic evidence

Roland Ramm, Stephen Crabbe
Digitising a shoe with the 3D-Scanner (top) and comparison of 3D point clouds from outsole of a shoe and a shoe impression (bottom).

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF conducts application-oriented research in the field of optical systems engineering. At International Security Expo, Olympia London, 28 – 29 November 2018 we are proud to present in the EU Pavilion advanced prototypes delivered as part of a European consortium in the project 3D-Forensics/FTI.

The 3D-Forensics/FTI system is a mobile high-resolution 3D-Scanner and 3D data analysis software specifically designed and engineered to record and compare footwear and tyre track impression traces from crimes scenes and the outsole and tyre profiles from suspects’ footwear and vehicles.

“The 3D-Scanner records high resolution 3D point clouds combined with colour images which capture the smallest identification features in traces and profiles but is still very robust and easy to use in the field”, explained Roland Ramm, Fraunhofer IOF’s representative at International Security Expo.  

The traces themselves are not contaminated or destroyed during optical scanning, as is the case, for example, with dental plaster casting – the present prevalent method for recording 3D impressions. An additional ruler as a linear scale is also no longer needed because the 3D information contains all relevant length dimensions. The associated 3D data analysis software contains tools for examination and comparison, e.g. for determining class and identifying characteristics, as well as for organising the identification projects and for reporting expert opinions based on the analysis. It is a valuable tool for the full exploitation of these traces in forensic intelligence.

“Footwear and tyre impression traces are some of the most common traces found at crime scenes. This evidence can be key to building cases against suspects, often leading them to admit guilt and save a costly trial. Our system offers the potential to reduce the overall risk and cost connected with recording and analysing these types of traces. This should lead to an increase in their use both during investigations and for prosecutions”, highlighted Stephen Crabbe, Crabbe Consulting Ltd’s representative at International Security Expo, a partner in the consortium. 

The developed solution has paid due regard to ensuring data authenticity and integrity, key requirements to be sure expert analysis based on the system is fit for purpose in criminal justice systems.

We are grateful to the police crime scene and identification experts providing input and feedback into the development of the 3D-Forensics/FTI system and also the European Union. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 700829.

Contact and further details can be found at: https://www.3d-forensics.eu

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