Laser scanning is rapidly gaining acceptance and becoming more and more commonplace in the law enforcement and accident reconstruction communities. Over the past few years, hardware and software have improved significantly creating a simpler, overall system to capture immense detail in a short period of time.
These are 10, of the many, reasons to consider laser scanners for a forensic application:
1) Easy to use: Many manufacturers are moving toward a simpler interface making operation of the scanner more like a digital camera than a complicated survey instrument.
2) Portability: Laser scanners are smaller in size today than ever before making them easier to deploy to a crime/accident scene and useable by just about anyone.
3) Safety: Data can be collected from a distance, with some scanners collected measurements over 300 meters away. This allows the operator to scan a scene out of harms way. In addition, laser scanners can collect up to 1,000,000 points per second with average scan times of several minutes. Less time on a scene means less time for potential danger to the individuals at the scene. Class I lasers are also being used in laser scanners creating a truly eye-safe environment during the scan.
4) Speed and Efficiency: Complete color scans can be captured in as little as several minutes creating a virtual scene with high accuracy and detail that can be revisited over and over without physically traveling to the site. In contrast to traditional methods of surveying/documenting a scene, laser scanning can be much faster and allow multiple investigators to have eyes on the virtual scene.
5) Produce a variety of deliverables: Once the scene has been laser scanned, various types of final products can be extracted or produced from the data. For example, anything from a traditional 2D drawing to a detailed 3D animation can be created from the scan data.
6) Peer pressure: With more and more agencies utilizing laser scanners for their scene documentation, the result is more widely accepted. As well as growth in expectations that future scenes will be documented in 3D.
7) Cost Effective: Laser scanners are becoming more and comparable in price to total stations which are traditionally used for documenting traffic accidents.
8) Specialized Measurement Tools: Software for forensic analysis from 3D data also now includes special tools for measuring blood spatter and bullet trajectory, witness/suspect height, etc.
9) Easy to share: More software tools are available to view and document the scan data without the requirement of installing software or purchasing additional licenses.
10) Archive the scene: Once the scene has been laser scanned it has been essentially frozen in time, preserved for future virtual visits by anyone who may wish to investigate the scene. This allows for measurements to be taken that may not have necessarily been thought to be important at the time of capture as well.
Blog post by Alex Demogines, Account Manager Laser Scanner, FARO Technologies
The 4th edition of the annual 3D Documentation User Meeting 2014 will take place 3-4 April at the beautiful Andechs Monastery in Germany.
It is the ideal event for professionals, who are interested in the application of 3D Documentation to improve productivity and save costs, in the following areas:
– Structural engineering
– Cultural Heritage
– Forestry and agriculture
– Mining and tunnel construction
– Processes and Manufacturing Industries
– Quality control
– Crime scenes, accident and danger zones documentation
3D Documentation is suitable for a wide range of applications: for quick and reliable recording of existing structures or damaged buildings, for surveying and archiving monuments, at archaeological excavations, in plant construction and in forensic reconstruction and much more.
Following the successful concept of the previous years, the 3D Documentation User Meeting 2014 for laser scanning and 3D Documentation will have a strong focus on:
NETWORKING – During the event there will be plenty of opportunities for the participants to establish networks, e.g. with special activities during the breaks.
LEARNING SESSIONS – Participants can expect to also find comprehensive presentations on the latest hardware and software solutions from FARO and its development partners.
POWER SPEECHES – Keynotes by renowned professionals and power speeches by industry experts deliver a real insight into the changing world of 3D documentation using the latest technologies.
WORKSHOPS – The meeting offers a strong focus on hands-on workshops to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information between users and interested parties of the various systems and technologies.
3D EXHIBITION – Get to meet FARO’s 3rd party partners, who will showcase their latest 3D Documentation products on a specific exhibition area.
Take the chance to get new impressions and make new contacts. Please register here.
While new technologies are used to entertain viewers of TV crime series, the real Crime Scene Investigators are hard at work, pushing the boundaries of forensic science, documenting cases, and baselining real-world events.
This is the job of Michal Frydrýn and his colleagues at the Department of Forensic Experts in Transportation (DFET) at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague. Serving the country’s police departments or its courts, the team uses their expertise to analyse road traffic accidents. They visit the site, document the scene and submit a forensic report.
“The requirement for these reports drives our own baseline research, explained Michal. Recently, we examined the passive safety of cars specifically in relation to the protection of child pedestrians. It is a long term project that actually took us three years: we created a specialized forensic laboratory on university premises, fitted it out with appropriate equipment, including traditional measuring tools and suitable anthropomorphic test devices (crash test dummies) and then ran a programme of testing and evaluation.”
Michal explained that for the final year of the project, the DFET employed a FARO Laser Scanner Focus 3D: “The arrival of the FARO scanner means we won a substantial improvement in our baseline data and 3D documentation.”
Within the carefully controlled laboratory environment, we accelerated a Skoda car to speeds of 10, 20 and 30kph and allowed it to strike a P6 crash test dummy. The dummy was designed to impact the car in the manner of a child and to record the effects on a child’s body. With the Focus 3D, we were able to record the whole scene and create highly detailed documentation of the deformation of the car – especially the bonnet. Using the FARO, we secured more information on the position of objects at the crash site, and more detail on the deformation of the vehicle, than was possible with the laser scanning equipment we had used previously. This increase in detail has served to add new depth to our documentation.”
As a result, this fundamental baseline data allows DETF to examine the bonnets of similar vehicles after real accidents and to determine the speed the vehicle was travelling at the time of collision with the child. Michal re-enforces this final point: ”At the accident site itself, the Focus 3D allows us to quickly document the scene with generous 3D detail to aid in the analysis, enabling our delivery of reliable, timely evidence to the courts”.
Premiere succeeded – our fair-team came back from INTERGEO in Essen with this conclusion. The undisputed star of the international trade fair for geodesy was the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330.
The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 with its phenomenal range of up to 330 meters (video from Bridge Scan: http://youtu.be/rRLTUrs80Zw) is especially suitable for outdoor use.
Scancopter is in the Air
Another eye-catcher on FARO’s booth was the Scancopter, with which scans from the bird’s eye view are possible. It offers exciting and unusual views. They were able to convince visitors on the stand and also in an outdoor area. This scanning while flying is only possible in combination with the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, because of its low weight. When the laser scanner goes up in the air, even hard to reach places are suddenly
visible and can be detected accurately.
At this point, as already presented, we have our new SCENE WebShare Cloud. With it the exchange and management of large data is possible – even without server capacity. SCENE WebShare Cloud was visible at all times in the bustle of the fair at INTERGEO: stand visitors gladly took the white cloud-balloons, making them float along the entire fairground.
ATS AB bought 7 units of the laser scanner Focus3D X 330 to support one of their main fields of work: 3D scanning of tunnels, bridges and other constructions.
Rolf Berlin, the CTO of ATS AB, says: “With the extra-long range and outdoor performance of the Focus3D X 330 a complete new application areas open up.”
The new scanner was for example used to scan the Älvborgsbron in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The whole 800m long bridge was scanned from only a few positions! “We are really excited to be the first company to offer this cutting-edge product in the Scandinavian countries”.
About ATS AB
ATS AB was founded in 1990. The company is marketing laser based 1D-2D-3D distance measurement instruments and systems for industrial applications. Key systems are different types of guidance, docking and navigation systems.
Since 1997 the company offers 2D & 3D high-accuracy scanning solutions in tunneling, mining, constructions, buildings and automotive & process industry. ATS AB provides scanning solutions of small and large objects for both reverse engineering and analysis purpose.
More info: http://ats.se/
The world’s largest event for geodesy, geoinformation and surveying will open its doors again one week from now, Tuesday 8 October 2013. The INTERGEO trade fair and conference cover all the key trends: from collecting geo-based information onto processing and integrated applications.
FARO will present a spectacular novelty. Be there at the world premiere and discover the latest technologies and industry-specific software solutions in the field of portable 3D measurement technology at our booth.
We look forward to welcoming you!
When: 08 – 10 October 2013
Where: Essen Exhibition Centre, Hall 3 – Stand B3.005
At Forensic Identification Services (FIS) Forensic Identification Officers collect evidence over the course of hours and sometimes days in order to paint a complete picture of a crime for the courtroom.
The “FIS Waltz” video below captures some of the techniques used, for example the FARO Laser Scanner. By allowing officers to capture crime scenes in 3D forensic scientists can accurately analyze line of sight, blood spatter and bullet trajectories.
With a fly-through rendering from a 3D laser scanner a reconstruction of the crime scene can now be presented to a jury in minute detail.
We invite you to visit us at INTERGEO 2013 which will take place 8-10 October 2013 in Essen, Germany.
Visit our booth B3.005 in Hall 3 and discover what’s new in the world of laser scanning at FARO:
• Watch an astonishing 3D movie,
• Listen to Power Speeches in German or English, and
• See for yourself how the Flying Focus takes off.
And there’s more, which we will reveal at our booth. You will not be disappointed!
Click here to get your free ticket.
We look forward to welcoming you!
We have arrived in Strasbourg!
The coming 2 days we will provide you with the latest from the world of 3D documentation and laser scanning technology. Tune in on the FARO blog or follow the event on twitter (#3DUserMeeting) or on Facebook.
After an introduction by Managing Director Ralf Drews with news about FARO we kick-off with keynote Kevin McAlea, Senior Vice-President at 3D Systems. Bernd Becker, Chief Technology Strategist will present FARO’s 3D Documentation Strategy.
Then, 4 powerspeeches featuring industry experts on:
• Webshare at Volvo
• Points in the Cloud
• Mecca – Scanning the Holy Mosque
• Airborne FARO Scanning – From Vision to Reality.
In the afternoon workshops, participants go into detail choosing from a range of themes around architecture, mobile mapping, software and scan data processing. Stay tuned for more details, videos and photos later in the day!
Discover new technologies and applications at this year’s 3D Documentation User Meeting. Have a look at the programme and see what you can expect on 13th and 14th June in Strasbourg.
We start day 1 with a keynote speech from 3D Systems‘s CEO Abe Reichental. Other so called Power Speeches include WebShare at Volvo, Autodesk, Laser Scanning & CGI – The new way of imaging, and, 3D documentation of the Cloaca Maxima by Indissoluble.
Secure your seat here.
We look forward to meeting you in Strasbourg!