The main aim of the project is to develop a spectral camera to support forensic investigators determine the age of blood stains on an objective and non-invasive manner. This will improve the efficacy and efficiency of punitive law. The Blood in the Spotlights project is performed by public and private partners: Forensic Technical Solutions (FTS), Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), Academic Medical Centre (AMC), Cosine and the Public Prosecution Service (OM).
The first camera prototype Is demonstrated in the CSI The Hague project. Furthermore, in the CSI laboratory the user-interface and technical requirements of the camera are thoroughly tested on simulated crime scenes. These tests defined the detailed specifications of the second and final prototype of the spectral camera, in order to ensure most optimal market adoption. During this project the final software, hardware and user-interface will be developed and tested in real-life crime scenes.
During the test-phase, the NFI will commercialize the “Age determination of blood stains” service to local and national Police departments and in close collaboration with FTS and AMC measurements are calculated and analysed. Moreover, workshops and trainings will be provided to forensic investigators and police departments. Finally, the completed spectral camera will be commercialised.
In the first phase of the project we collaborated on two parallel trajectories.
1) to further develop the technique for more robust deployment and
2) to further design the spectral camera to fulfil the requirements relevant for forensic practice
1) To improve the deployment of the technique, the measurements should be corrected for background material and colour on which blood stains are observed. Also, corrections are needed for temperature and humidity effects on blood. Therefore, ageing blood stains have been analysed under controlled circumstances in climate chambers. Here, the thickness of the blood and the type of underground were observed. Results will be implemented in the software algorithms with which the reflection spectra are being translated to the age of the blood stain.
2) To measure the blood stains, specific requirements haven’t been met by the previous prototype spectral camera. Therefore, new types of camera’s are investigated and discussed with manufacturers and Cosine, the actual designers of the new camera. Based on the results of these studies a definitive solution is formalized for the new camera. Furthermore, shape and functionality of the camera were discussed with several end-user groups: Police, NFI and OM. A new camera model will be presented soon.
This innovation project is co-financed by HSD Development Fund, which is made available by the Municipality of The Hague and the European Community.