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Proceedings Paper

Environmental impact to multimedia systems on the example of fingerprint aging behavior at crime scenes
Author(s): Ronny Merkel; Andy Breuhan; Mario Hildebrandt; Claus Vielhauer; Anja Bräutigam
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Paper Abstract

In the field of crime scene forensics, current methods of evidence collection, such as the acquisition of shoe-marks, tireimpressions, palm-prints or fingerprints are in most cases still performed in an analogue way. For example, fingerprints are captured by powdering and sticky tape lifting, ninhydrine bathing or cyanoacrylate fuming and subsequent photographing. Images of the evidence are then further processed by forensic experts. With the upcoming use of new multimedia systems for the digital capturing and processing of crime scene traces in forensics, higher resolutions can be achieved, leading to a much better quality of forensic images. Furthermore, the fast and mostly automated preprocessing of such data using digital signal processing techniques is an emerging field. Also, by the optical and non-destructive lifting of forensic evidence, traces are not destroyed and therefore can be re-captured, e.g. by creating time series of a trace, to extract its aging behavior and maybe determine the time the trace was left. However, such new methods and tools face different challenges, which need to be addressed before a practical application in the field. Based on the example of fingerprint age determination, which is an unresolved research challenge to forensic experts since decades, we evaluate the influences of different environmental conditions as well as different types of sweating and their implications to the capturing sensory, preprocessing methods and feature extraction. We use a Chromatic White Light (CWL) sensor to exemplary represent such a new optical and contactless measurement device and investigate the influence of 16 different environmental conditions, 8 different sweat types and 11 different preprocessing methods on the aging behavior of 48 fingerprint time series (2592 fingerprint scans in total). We show the challenges that arise for such new multimedia systems capturing and processing forensic evidence

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8436, Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications II, 84360Y (2 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922701
Show Author Affiliations
Ronny Merkel, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Andy Breuhan, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Mario Hildebrandt, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Claus Vielhauer, Brandenburg Univ. of Applied Science (Germany)
Anja Bräutigam, State Criminal Police Office Saxony-Anhalt (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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