Crime Light Imaging (CLI): A Novel Sensor for Stand-Off Detection and Localization of Forensic Traces
Andrea Chiuri, Roberto Chirico, Federico Angelini, Fabrizio Andreoli, Ivano Menicucci, Marcello Nuvoli, Cristina Cano-Trujillo,Gemma Montalvo, Violeta Lazic
Stand-off detection of latent traces avoids the scene alteration that might occur during close inspection by handheld forensic lights. Here, we describe a novel sensor, named Crime Light Imaging (CLI), designed to perform high-resolution photography of targets at a distance of 2–10 m and to visualize some common latent traces. CLI is based on four high-power illumination LEDs and one color CMOS camera with a motorized objective plus frontal filters; the LEDs and camera could be synchronized to obtain short-exposure images weakly dependent on the ambient light. The sensor is integrated into a motorized platform, providing the target scanning and necessary information for 3D scene reconstruction. The whole system is portable and equipped with a user-friendly interface. The preliminary tests of CLI on fingerprints at distance of 7 m showed an excellent image resolution and drastic contrast enhancement under green LED light. At the same distance, a small (1 µL) blood droplet on black tissue was captured by CLI under NIR LED, while a trace from 15 µL semen on white cotton became visible under UV LED illumination. These results represent the first demonstration of true stand-off photography of latent traces, thus opening the way for a completely new approach in crime scene forensic examination.