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DETECTING BURIED METALLIC WEAPONS IN A CONTROLLED SETTING USING A CONDUCTIVITY METER AND A GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR

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Date Issued:
2009
Abstract/Description:
Searching for buried metallic evidence at crime scenes or at potential disposal sites can be a daunting task for forensic personnel. In particular, it is common to search for a small firearm that was discarded or buried by the perpetrator. When performing forensic searches, it is recommended to first use non-invasive methods such as geophysical instruments to minimize damage to evidence and to the crime scene. Geophysical tools are used to pinpoint small areas of interest across a scene that will be invasively tested later. Prior to this project, there was no published research that tested the utility of the conductivity meter to search for metallic weapons such as firearms and blunt or sharp edged weapons. A sample comprised of 32 metallic weapons was buried in a controlled setting to test the applicability of a conductivity meter for forensic searches. Weapons were tested at multiple depths; once data collection was performed for one depth, the weapons were reburied 5cm deeper until they were no longer detected. Results obtained with conductivity meter were compared to results obtained by the ground-penetrating radar using different depths and transect intervals. The effects of several variables on detection such as weapon size, metallic composition, burial depth, and transect interval were analyzed in order to explore the limitations of each instrument. Results obtained from this controlled research can provide guidelines to help law enforcement in real-world searches.
Title: DETECTING BURIED METALLIC WEAPONS IN A CONTROLLED SETTING USING A CONDUCTIVITY METER AND A GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR.
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Name(s): Dionne, Charles, Author
Schultz, John, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Searching for buried metallic evidence at crime scenes or at potential disposal sites can be a daunting task for forensic personnel. In particular, it is common to search for a small firearm that was discarded or buried by the perpetrator. When performing forensic searches, it is recommended to first use non-invasive methods such as geophysical instruments to minimize damage to evidence and to the crime scene. Geophysical tools are used to pinpoint small areas of interest across a scene that will be invasively tested later. Prior to this project, there was no published research that tested the utility of the conductivity meter to search for metallic weapons such as firearms and blunt or sharp edged weapons. A sample comprised of 32 metallic weapons was buried in a controlled setting to test the applicability of a conductivity meter for forensic searches. Weapons were tested at multiple depths; once data collection was performed for one depth, the weapons were reburied 5cm deeper until they were no longer detected. Results obtained with conductivity meter were compared to results obtained by the ground-penetrating radar using different depths and transect intervals. The effects of several variables on detection such as weapon size, metallic composition, burial depth, and transect interval were analyzed in order to explore the limitations of each instrument. Results obtained from this controlled research can provide guidelines to help law enforcement in real-world searches.
Identifier: CFE0002597 (IID), ucf:48264 (fedora)
Note(s): 2009-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Department of Anthropology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Forensic archaeology
conductivity meter
ground-penetrating radar
geophysical methods
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002597
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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