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Hand-Held Multispectral Camera for Crime Scene Investigation

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2017
14 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of a research project with the goal of developing a compact, lightweight camera that can simultaneously capture 20 wavelengths from the visible to the near infrared (400-1000nm) at video rates.

This work was inspired by previous multispectral camera development by Teledyne Scientific & Imaging in 2012; however, despite the value of multispectral detection capabilities, multispectral technology has not been available in a form suitable for use at a crime scene. The technical challenges are weight, cost, complexity, ruggedness, portability, and user friendliness. In comparing the multispectral camera developed in the current project with that developed by Teledyne, several major improvements were achieved. First, the current project used 16 colors (multispectral) acquired simultaneously from the visible into the near-infrared and processed into real-time images. Teledyne's system had a maximum of only six colors, which are acquired sequentially and require after-the-fact processing. Second, the multispectral images were acquired at video rates. Third, with the advance in monochrome cameras with increased sensitivity, there was no need to build a specialized multicolor illumination source as was done by Teledyne; instead, inexpensive halogen lamps could be used. Fourth, the camera design ensures a small SWAP camera. The technical assessment of this project is that with the continued development in the integration of multiple cameras with minicomputers, a small SWAP, hand-held multispectral camera is achievable in the next project phase. This report provides information on the characterization of spectral properties of latent blood at a crime scene and the detection of latent fingerprints. Recommendations for further technology development are provided. 1 figure and 4 references

Date Published: November 1, 2017