AST Lt. Gilmore AST Investigator Ramin Dunford demonstrates new 3-D laser scanner at a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

AST Lt. Gilmore AST Investigator Ramin Dunford demonstrates new 3-D laser scanner at a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

New 3-D scanning will expedite CSI for State Troopers

Delays due to fatal accidents on Alaska’s highways as well as crime scene investigations may be greatly reduced thanks to new 3D laser scanning equipment provided to the Alaska State Troopers. Troopers Lt. Dane Gilmore and investigator Ramin Dunford demonstrated the new apparatus at a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday.

“There’s no way around it — processing a crime scene takes a lot of time. We now have technology available in Fairbanks and Palmer that we can bring to the (Kenai) Peninsula that significantly reduces the crime scene processing time at crime scenes or crashes. What used to take four to six hours can now be done in about an hour and we are looking at bringing additional copies of this same technology to the Kenai Peninsula,” said Gilmore.

“It scans and creates a 3D cloud of your surroundings,” Dunford said, during the demonstration. “So if we were to scan our surroundings here, it would create a laser point for everything it can see from this angle with a scanner mounted on a tripod with about an 280 degree range of motion.”

The system is automated and requires two officers who have access to basic surveying equipment. The estimated cost of the unit, with the high-power computer necessary to run it is about $75,000, Gilmore said.

“We have several of the computers around the state already, so we mostly need the tripod and measuring device itself,” he said.

The instrument has other benefits as well, including improved accuracy, eliminating potential human error and added safety for officers as it is reported that roadside accidents are among the most common ways officers are injured on the job. The new technology is rather simple to use and learn, Dunford said.

“I can train an officer to be an operator for this in about one hour. It doesn’t take much time,” Dunford said. “You just input the date of what you’re doing and the settings for the area, whether there is a lot of sunlight or, if it’s an indoor setting, how much distance and the resolution you want to take (record) the points at and it does the rest automatically.”

The evidence collected at the scene using the 3-D laser scanner is preserved digitally, which allows investigators to use stored crime scene data to continue their investigations. For investigators operating without a laser scanner, measurement not taken at the scene can be lost forever. Using the digitally preserved crime scene, investigators and go back virtually and get the measurements they need, Dunford said.

More in News

The Seward welcome sign is photographed in July 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward vice mayor and council member resigns

The council accept the resignation of Tony Baclaan during its Monday night meeting.

Ben Mohr watches Kenai River Junior Classic participants head out to fish on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Mohr resigns as director of KRSA

He has been the executive director of KRSA for nearly three years.

Heather and Hunter Phillips walk through the Kenai Community Library Haunted Hunt with their mom Kumi Phillips on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Scary reads

Spooky literary characters come to life at Kenai library haunted house.

Alaska state Rep. Laddie Shaw, an Anchorage Republican, waits for the start of a so-called technical session on the House floor, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The fourth special legislative session of the year began Oct. 4, in Juneau, but there has been little action at the Capitol and little progress toward resolving Alaska’s fiscal issues. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Special session plods on with little action

Many legislative offices have been dark and floor sessions in some cases have lasted seconds.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. After the Kenai City Council postponed a vote to approve a grant funding health and wellness books, community members set up a GoFundMe to support the purchase of materials. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
After cries of censorship, community raises funds for library

The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone acceptance of a $1,500 grant for materials related to health and wellness.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
11 new deaths reported

Statewide there were 244 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 37 of them on ventilators.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

Most Read