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Development of a Novel Human Materials Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Tool for Forensic Investigations and Operations for U.S. Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Date Published
14 pages

This is the Final Summary Overview of a project with the goal of producing a hyperspectral software tool for the interpretation of hyperspectral remote sensing images and then train students in this effort.  


The reflective spectra and metadata of numerous materials were collected, including human skin, hair, and blood. These data were then sent to Harris Geospatial to assemble in a software plug-in for their ENVI remote sensing package. The extensive effort made to collect reflective spectra and metadata are summarized in this report. The analysis of data thus far has resulted in four peer-reviewed publications and a fifth on fuels is under review. The software tool is completed as the primary deliverable for this project; however, Harris Geospatial is still in the process of determining how to host the software. The latest available online link is provided in this report. Currently, the tool is only available for Windows. Once launched, the tool can be used to browse spectral data from a variety of sources, including human tissue samples, clothing, and earth materials, both natural and synthetic. The tool indexes this data and enables users to search, filter, and combine these spectra. The tool can then be used to create libraries to search for and determine possible locations of these spectra within a hyperspectral image, thus identifying a location. As hyperspectral remote sensing technology becomes more available to law enforcement, the software technology developed for this project could be used to identify clothing, human skin, and blood in outdoor and urban environments. 7 figures and a listing of peer-reviewed articles, manuscripts in preparation, and scientific presentations

Date Published: January 1, 2020