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Hot Shoes in the Room: Authentication of Thermal Imaging for Quantitative Forensic Analysis

Bio Inspired Digital Sensing-Lab, School of Media and Communications, RMIT University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
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J. Imaging 2018, 4(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging4010021
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
Thermal imaging has been a mainstay of military applications and diagnostic engineering. However, there is currently no formalised procedure for the use of thermal imaging capable of standing up to judicial scrutiny. Using a scientifically sound characterisation method, we describe the cooling function of three common shoe types at an ambient room temperature of 22 °C (295 K) based on the digital output of a consumer-grade FLIR i50 thermal imager. Our method allows the reliable estimation of cooling time from pixel intensity values within a time interval of 3 to 25 min after shoes have been removed. We found a significant linear relationship between pixel intensity level and temperature. The calibration method allows the replicable determination of independent thermal cooling profiles for objects without the need for emissivity values associated with non-ideal black-body thermal radiation or system noise functions. The method has potential applications for law enforcement and forensic research, such as cross-validating statements about time spent by a person in a room. The use of thermal images can thus provide forensic scientists, law enforcement officials, and legislative bodies with an efficient and cost-effective tool for obtaining and interpreting time-based evidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrared; radiation; image processing; cooling function; pixel mapping; time-course; linearisation; sensor; camera characterisation infrared; radiation; image processing; cooling function; pixel mapping; time-course; linearisation; sensor; camera characterisation
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Chua, J.H.J.; Dyer, A.G.; Garcia, J.E. Hot Shoes in the Room: Authentication of Thermal Imaging for Quantitative Forensic Analysis. J. Imaging 2018, 4, 21.

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