Skip to main content

Real-tIme on-site forenSic tracE qualificatioN

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RISEN (Real-tIme on-site forenSic tracE qualificatioN)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-06-30

The RISEN project aims at providing fast and accurate responses in the initial phase of investigations and directly on-site, to allow directing the subsequent police activities towards the specific necessary tasks for capturing the responsible of a crime and preventing further offences. The new proposed modular approach can be applied to classical forensic investigations and to disaster sites.
The objectives of the RISEN project will be obtained by:
• Developing and demonstrating contactless and automated sensors to identify, select and label trace materials, with a consequent reduction of the time and resources in the laboratory;
• Processing and sending rapidly acquired in-situ data to a 3D Augmented Crime Scene Investigation (3DA-CSI) system to produce an interactive realistic 3D model of the crime scene, augmented with the position and labelling of traces and evidence resulting from on-site analyses, and allowing a fast exchange of information among LEAs.
The recreated 3D model of the crime scene will present sensor data, collected traces and identified points of interest in order to deliver a realistic and immersive visual environment for investigators, allowing them to conduct highly detailed investigations, and to have the acquired information available at any time for several purposes in the criminal justice system.
The identified traces will be digitally marked and inventoried, and a digitalised Chain of Custody will be established, implementing mechanisms that assure data integrity over its lifecycle.
The fusion of complementary and orthogonal analytical information in a system of systems will provide a better discriminating power of a wide set of chemical and biological materials of forensic interest and it will allow for the gathering of more informative profiles of the investigated traces.
The RISEN project will addresse the social demand for:
• transparent and effective forensic investigation at a scene that may be linked with crime, disaster, conflicts, terrorism;
• search and discovery of evidence of disposal of human remains in high profile forensic caseworks;
• respect in different religious and cultural sensitivities/death rites;
• cross-cutting field of physical and digital technologies that promote the legitimacy of the court-proof evidence;
• integration and collaboration of on-site and remote operations that ensure safety of forensic personnel and civilians, and security and recording (physical and digital marking) of traces.
Most of the work performed in RISEN during Period 1 (M1-M12) was dedicated to the activities related to review the state-of-the-art of forensic trace qualification, requirements and gaps (WP2), which will be the basis for activities in other WPs dedicated to the RISEN system’s development. These activities focused on five areas related to crime scene investigation, forensic scenarios and trace evidence associated with them, CSI’s operational procedures, technical aspects of CSI, training of CSI personnel, and CSI personnel safety.
LEAs, as result of a series of activities that were organized during Period 1, including 2 Workshops, defined user needs and priorities for RISEN (WP2, WP11), which were then translated into the RISEN system requirements (WP4).
Moreover, the activities related with user and system requirements analysis and their conversion to high-level technical specifications of the RISEN system have also started during Period 1 (WP4). A fundamental overview of the RISEN system specifications and architecture was developed, providing the starting point to detail the system architecture, derive the particular (low-level) specifications for the RISEN system components and guide implementation phase.
Other important activities performed during Period 1 were related to the descriptions of the methodologies that the RISEN consortium will follow to accomplish to ethics requirements. Under the supervision of the Independent Ethics Advisor, it was documented how the RISEN consortium will strictly follow the necessary procedures and will ensure compliance with ethical principles and relevant legislation, will guarantee ethical conformity and protection of the research participants, the protection of fundamental rights and freedom of natural persons and, in particular, their rights to the protection of personal data (WP12).
The management plan (WP1) and the data management plan (WP10) were also made available during Period 1, which ensure an optimal coordination and management of the RISEN project and allow a careful and guided data management assessment during the lifetime of the project.
RISEN will introduce an innovative way to perform investigations directly on site, and the foresee progress will include:
• Improvements in the health and safety of the operators by developing and integrating in the 3DA-CSI system sensors for continuous monitoring of the air for biological and chemical threat analysis alerting operators in case of detection;
• Rapid and automated trace analysis directly on-site;
• Better cost and time efficiency by developing simultaneous 3D reconstruction, 3D model and data location management as well as sensor data collection tools;
• Easy to use positioning and calibration tools for accurately and automatically mapping analytical sensor data into the 3D model acquired with commercial laser scanners or photogrammetry;
• Modular integration of forensics sensors and other data sources;
• Provision of information layers for visualising correlated information and sensor fusion within the collected data;
• Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality user interfaces for providing visually rich and immersive tools for data and crime scene examination;
• Flexible visualisation mechanisms (C2 room, mobile phone, VR/goggles);
• Open architecture, supporting export of data to external systems (within LEA organisations, cross-LEAs for international cooperation) by implementing data exchange mechanisms to support cross-border investigations to efficiently share information among LEAs for the success of the investigations.
RISEN new capabilities will bring faster arrests and reduced prosecution times, impeding criminals/terrorists to conduct further activities.
The sensors developed inside RISEN will be studied on different samples and in different working conditions in order to find scaling factors for passing at the end of the project to cost reduction of each single sensor.
The modular design will offer to the final users the selection of the tools for their specific needs and will allow for future integration with other emerging technologies for crime scene analysis.
The RISEN system will be a trustworthy framework delivering harmonised information formats to better support the cross-border exchange and acceptance of court-proof evidence, collected with a standardised approach and used in harmonised investigative procedures of trans-border crimes, in full compliance with applicable legislation, including personal data protection (GDPR).
Aspects related with digital chain-of-custody, integrity data protection and full auditing support will be applied at each stage of the management of the acquired information to provide solid court proof with legal value longevity.
Standardization activities will enhance acceptance and understanding of the project results, making them widely applicable in the EU and elsewhere, and will assist the transformation of research findings into the market.
Interactive 3D model of a crime scene