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Photonics-Enabled Tools for Forensic Investigations to be Advanced at SPIE DSS
Date:4/17/2013

space, allowing transmission over limited-bandwidth channels and reducing transmission costs.

Sos Agaian, Peter T. Flawn Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, noted that investigators in Boston will benefit from the ability to integrate and enhance information from many kinds of mobile devices.

"Visually, when you enhance the image you can see things that at first you didn't see," Dr. Agaian said. “If you have several cellphone images, you can integrate them all into a huge panorama of the scene of an event. And you can make faces and actions more recognizable.”

Agaian's lab can calculate pulse rate by a facial recording with a camera, and compare calculations over time to detect changes that actions do not show. When the heart starts to beat faster, he said, “it suggests something is going on that's having an emotional effect.”

Agaian will chair the Mobile Multimedia/Image Processing, Security and Applications conference at DSS.

Christopher Carter, program manager at the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University, anticipated that forensic teams in Boston might use optical techniques to check samples for explosives and other chemicals, whether at long distances or close up. An example is Raman scattering which provides a "fingerprint" of the molecules to be identified.

"Raman spectroscopy is being used by both military and civilian agencies to identify bulk chemicals," Dr. Carter said. "You'd use a laser to look at the Raman scattered light, from a few centimeters away, and detect precisely what is there. Other active optical techniques can identify explosives from up to 100 meters away."

Carter will chair sessions on Advances in Spectroscopic Chemical Detection, in the DSS conference on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing.

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