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Proceedings Paper

Performance analysis of digital cameras versus chromatic white light (CWL) sensors for the localization of latent fingerprints in crime scenes
Author(s): Mathias Jankow; Mario Hildebrandt; Jennifer Sturm; Stefan Kiltz; Claus Vielhauer
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Paper Abstract

In future applications of contactless acquisition techniques for latent fingerprints the automatic localization of potential fingerprint traces in crime scenes is required. Our goal is to study the application of a camera-based approach1 comparing with the performance of chromatic white light (CWL) techniques2 for the latent fingerprint localization in coarse and the resulting acquisition using detailed scans. Furthermore, we briefly evaluate the suitability of the camera-based acquisition for the detection of malicious fingerprint traces using an extended camera setup in comparison to Kiltz et al.3 Our experimental setup includes a Canon EOS 550D4 digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera and a FRT MicroProf2005 surface measurement device with CWL6002 sensor. We apply at least two fingerprints to each surface in our test set with 8 different either smooth, textured and structured surfaces to evaluate the detection performance of the two localization techniques using different pre-processing and feature extraction techniques. Printed fingerprint patterns as reproducible but potentially malicious traces3 are additionally acquired and analyzed on foil and compact discs. Our results indicate positive tendency towards a fast localization using the camera-based technique. All fingerprints that are located using the CWL sensor are found using the camera. However,the disadvantage of the camera-based technique is that the size of the region of interest for the detailed scan for each potential latent fingerprint is usually slightly larger compared to the CWL-based localization. Furthermore, this technique does not acquire 3D data and the resulting images are distorted due to the necessary angle between the camera and the surface. When applying the camera-based approach, it is required to optimize the feature extraction and classification. Furthermore, the required acquisition time for each potential fingerprint needs to be estimated to determine the time-savings of the camera-based localization approach throughout the entire acquisition of traces. The analysis of camera images of printed fingerprint patterns shows positive tendencies, too. However, only small sections of the fingerprint are sharply acquirable within a single photo, large sections of the image are usually blurred due to the depth of field of the camera lens.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8436, Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications II, 84360X (30 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922550
Show Author Affiliations
Mathias Jankow, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Mario Hildebrandt, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Jennifer Sturm, Brandenburg Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)
Stefan Kiltz, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Claus Vielhauer, Brandenburg Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8436:
Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications II
Peter Schelkens; Touradj Ebrahimi; Gabriel Cristóbal; Frédéric Truchetet; Pasi Saarikko, Editor(s)

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