Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium in Electrical and Computer Engineering
"Shining Light on Forensic Research"
Dr. Miranda van Iersel
A crime scene can only be preserved for a limited time. Recording a crime scene has the advantage that one can always return to the virtual crime scene to e.g. check the exact location of object. Different techniques, like photographs and video, can be used to record a crime scene. When an incident happens on the street, this might be captured by security cameras. These videos can be used to reconstruct the movements of people and cars around the time of the incident. Synchronizing the videos and displaying them simultaneously can help with the reconstruction. The events are displayed graphically to gain better insight in the sequence and location of these events.
Another option is to construct a 3D model of the crime scene. This has the advantage that you can change the perspective and view the scene from all directions. A technique to easily and quickly reconstruct a small crime scene has been developed. A drawback of these techniques, using conventional (color) cameras, is that they only capture features that belong to the visible part of electromagnetic spectrum. Interesting traces with strong signatures in other parts of the spectrum could be overlooked. Some of these traces can be visualized using an infrared camera.
Miranda van Iersel is a research scientist at TNO, the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. She studied physics at the Catholic University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and received an MSc. in theoretical physics in 1999. She received her PhD degree in theoretical physics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam in 2004. And continued to work as a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam until 2006. In 2006 she started working at TNO. Currently active research includes atmospheric turbulence, propagation through the atmosphere, IR signatures, and developing new techniques for forensic research.
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