Imaging system takes fingerprints from cartridge cases

A team of engineers at Consolite Forensics (Zeals, UK) has developed a novel imaging system that can extract fingerprints from discharged cartridge cases.

Imaging system takes fingerprints from cartridge cases
Imaging system takes fingerprints from cartridge cases

A team of engineers at Consolite Forensics (Zeals, UK) has developed a novel imaging system that can extract fingerprints from discharged cartridge cases.

The scenes of many crimes involving firearms, where spent cartridge cases are the only evidence recovered, has traditionally posed a particular challenge for forensic scientists. But perspiration can corrode such cartridges, creating a fingerprint on them that can then be used to identify the user of the firearm.

In use, a spent cartridge case is inserted into the Consolite Forensics' Cartridge Electrostatic Recovery and Analysis (CERA) system that automatically measures the size and shape of the casing, after which a powder is deposited over the surface in a uniform manner.

The powder is attracted to areas of surface corrosion caused by chemicals from the fingers of the firearm user. A camera inside the system which is fitted with a bespoke lens from Resolve Optics (Chesham, UK) then collects a number of high resolution images from the circumference of the cartridge and downloads them to imaging software to create a fingerprint for identification.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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