Phase 1 runs from February 2020 until July 2020. During this Phase contractors are expected to provide a detailed design of all the components, algorithms and processes of the proposed solution and verify the technical, economic and organizational feasibility of their solution approach to address the SHUTTLE PCP challenge.
Phase 1 – Solution Design – Successful Contractors
Contractor A – Camlin Photonics LtD
CAMLIN Photonics are highly experienced in hyperspectral imaging and work closely with Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) on several projects.
FSNI are responsible for the tape lift system to provide trace evidence materials. CAMLIN is responsible for the design and development of the microscope system. Together they specify the operating requirements of the relative systems: tape lift, microscope, and database, making this project a unique opportunity to explore the advances in photonics and their application within forensic science.
Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique that uses optical spectroscopy to measure the spectrum and identify materials. It is completely non-contact, does not require chemicals to “develop” samples, and is highly selective and sensitive to spectral changes in materials. It allows identification, separation, and can rapidly determine where a material is distributed within a target scene without affecting the DNA evidence.
Contractor B – Traces Consortium
The consortium “TRACES” will offer a disrupting imaging and micro-spectroscopy technology for enabling high-throughput screening and automated identification of traces collected in crime fields. It will also offer a novel trace-lifting/handling package and an efficient information system for managing the massive amount of data that will be generated during the scanning of a multimodal microscopy imaging head over a large, sample-backing area. Indicative target traces include, but are not limited to, blood, hair, fibers, glass, sand, soil, cells and saliva. The consortium partners are Spectricon (coordinator), a Greek Hyperspectral Imaging and Microscopy Technology SME, and Zanasi & Partners (Z&P’s), an Italian Cybersecurity Technology SME. Spectricon develops the trace-lifting/handling system and the Trace-Microanalysis Microscope (TMM) (patent pending) and Z&P’s the data management/analytics system. The consortium is complemented by a forensic sciences academic team based in the UK and an advisory board comprising the managers of leading forensics companies across Europe.
Contractor C- AG Toolkit Jena
To participate in the Pre-Commercial Procurement “SHUTTLE”, three German companies built a consortium named “SHUTTLE AG Toolkit Jena”. A 10my resolving automated microscope system for trace analysis is to be designed. In our approach, tapes with different sizes will be fixed on a DIN A4 frame and placed in a magazine. A transfer system carries them into a scanning unit, where an overview image is captured. UV Fluorescencemicroscopy helps to distinguish biotic from non-biotic materials, structure analysis separates hairs, fibers, paint and glass, and color analysis splits fibers into groups. The relevant traces are selected and classified by artificial neural network algorithms. A secondary interactive process offers manual reinspection.
Two different approaches are examined. Configuration one uses the latest versions of high-resolution TV cameras and UV suitable objectives, specified for high throughput workflow. Secondly, a classical microscopic setup is examined, enabling spectroscopy, polarization and Raman options based on extremely sensitive sensors. The combination of both methods is subject for discussion. The database management provides the complete set of information to feed the neuronal network algorithms for trace classification. Options for joint database management as well as local access to the information are possible.
After finishing the process, the A4 frame can be transferred either back to its storage or it can be shifted to another position like a laser tweezer to select traces for another inspection like DNA sequencing, etc.
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