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Proceedings Paper

The evaluation of a new technology for gunshot residue (GSR) analysis in the field
Author(s): Ellen Hondrogiannis; Danielle Andersen; Andrzej W. Miziolek
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Paper Abstract

There continues to be a need for improved technology to be used in theater to quickly and accurately identify the person who shot any weapon during a terrorist attack as well as to link a suspect to the actual weapon fired during a crime. Beyond this, in areas of conflict it would be desirable to have the capability to establish the source country for weaponry and ammunition. Gunshot residue (GSR) analysis is a reasonably well-studied technology area. Recent scientific publications have reported that the residues have a rich composition of both organic and inorganic compounds. For the purposes of identifying the manufacturer or country of origin for the ammunition, the inorganic components of GSR appear to be especially promising since their presence in the propellant and primer formulations are either specific to a given chemical formula, or they represent impurities in the manufacturing process that can be unique to a manufacturer or the source country for the chemicals used for propellants and primers. The Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technology has already demonstrated considerable capability for elemental fingerprinting, especially for inorganic/metallic components. A number of reports have demonstrated LIBS capability in forensics for matching materials such as inks, fabrics, paper, glass, and paint. This work describes the encouraging results of an initial study to assess a new commercial field-portable (battery operated) LIBS system for GSR analysis with gunshot residues having been collected from inside cartridge casings from 3 different ammunition manufacturers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 May 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8726, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies VI, 87260P (29 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017900
Show Author Affiliations
Ellen Hondrogiannis, Towson Univ. (United States)
Danielle Andersen, Towson Univ. (United States)
Andrzej W. Miziolek, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8726:
Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies VI
Mark A. Druy; Richard A. Crocombe, Editor(s)

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