2 May 2019

Laser scanning crime scenes

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 2 May 2019

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) has laser scanned more than 200 crime scenes since 2012.

The technology allows investigators to virtually return to crime scenes, and for juries to ‘walk through’ the crime scene during a trial.

3D image taken with the new ESR Crime Scene Laser Scanne

3D image taken with the new ESR Crime Scene Laser Scanner Photo: ESR

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ESR forensic investigator Kurt McManus says the laser scanner captures millions of measurements in just a few seconds, creating a detailed 3D image of a crime scene that can then be examined from many different angles.

It allows investigators to take precise measurements and accurately calculate the trajectories of bullets.

Forensic investigators plot a bullet trajectory at a crime scene.

Forensic investigators plot a bullet trajectory at a crime scene. Photo: ESR

 

Kurt says that ESR is also developing a technique of flying a drone over a crime scene to take photographs that can be turned into a detailed 3D version of the scene.

He says that, in the future, virtual reality will play an important role in helping investigators and juries understand crime scenes.

ESR forensic investigator Kurt McManus with a laser scanner.

ESR forensic investigator Kurt McManus with a laser scanner. Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

Forensic investigators can accurately work out patterns of blood splatter at a crime scene using a laser scanned 3D image.

Forensic investigators can accurately work out patterns of blood splatter at a crime scene using a laser scanned 3D image. Photo: ESR

 

 

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