Volume 43, Issue 3 (May 1998)
Automated Firearms Evidence Comparison: A Forensic Tool for Firearms Identification—An Update
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) laboratories is applying the new technology of computerized image analysis for the identification of bullets and cartridge casings recovered in open cases, and to a database of test fired weapons. The Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) accomplishes these comparisons in minutes, when the same task using conventional microscopical techniques would require weeks to carefully sort through the firearm evidence. The networking of remote Data Acquisition Stations (DAS) can build a regional firearms evidence database, making the IBIS a powerful resource for the investigation of violent firearm crimes from multiple jurisdictions. A technical overview of the IBIS image acquisition hardware, image storage, case data input, “surface signature” analysis, and correlation scoring to an image database is reported.