If the nerve agent attack in Salisbury served to highlight the importance of rapid and comprehensive crime scene investigations, the latest technology to support such activities were much in evidence at this year’s Security & Counter Terror Expo (SCTX).
Staged at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre in early March and attended by more than 10,000 visitors from 62 countries, the event saw Amped, Attestor Forensics, FARO, 3D Laser Mapping, Laser Technology Inc., Riegl, Brightgeam Laser and Specim all presenting Laser, LiDAR and optical-based solutions for crime scene/road accident investigations. OR3D from Wrexham took the opportunity to showcase the F6 Smart hand-held 3D laser scanner from Mantis Vision. Using a Class 1 laser, the 1.4kg unit boasts full colour point cloud capture as well a wide field of view (86°). This, it is claimed, means that scenes can be captured faster and in greater realistic detail than by other hand-held scanning systems on the market.
A particularly novel solution was on offer from Spheron-VR AG of Waldfischbach-Burgalben in Germany in the shape of SceneCam. This HDR camera technology automatically captures 360º x 180º spherical images in a single scan, has 26 f-stops of dynamic range, and generates 100 MP images for use in forensics, security, CNI and industrial plant inspection applications. The latest iteration of SceneCam features a 35% reduction in size and a 25% reduction in weight; a newly-designed power supply unit with increased battery capacity; support for the Panasonic ToughPad, and a new carbon-tripod for increased 3D measurement accuracy.
An area of growing interest was evident in the number of companies promoting drone tracking and countermeasures solutions. For example, Robin Radar Systems of The Netherlands, highlighted the automatic classification capability of its radar-based Elvira drone detection system. Unlike many other systems, this can differentiate between drones, birds and other moving objects, thereby preventing false positives. Similar drone surveillance radar systems were on offer from Florida-based Detect Inc. (Dronewatcher) and Tel-Aviv-based Apolloshield. Future versions of the latter are intended that include a software capability to neutralise drones by sending them precise go-home signals.
Already able to cause a drone to return to the operator, as well as stop and hover, is Dronebuster from Radio Hill Technologies of Portland, Oregon. This hand-portable RF jamming unit, 250 of which have been deployed to customers worldwide, including the US DoD and NATO, can jam consumer and modified drone radios in several frequency bands, while its five custom antennae provide directional jamming over longer ranges.
With the theft of high-value vehicles and equipment at record levels, many of whose built-in trackers are disabled by jamming devices, Chronos of Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, generated considerable interest in its latest GNSS Interference Detector and Locator unit, the CTL3520. The battery-operated device can detect and locate jamming signals from commercially available GNSS jammers in a variety of situations, whether hidden in plant or vehicles, sited in multi-storey car parks, storage areas or freight-handling depots.
For those seeking to install tamper-proof trackers in vehicles, Terrafix of Tunstall, Staffordshire, showcased an updated version of Genesis Ant, its fully waterproof covert tracker. This latest version features extended geo-fence and power modes, improved GPS sensitivity, a 40% reduction in power consumption, interchangeable battery packs, and integrated battery level monitoring. Not to be outdone, Hidden Technology Systems International based in Rayleigh, Essex, fielded a variety of battery and solar-powered portable tracking devices - even a version for embedding in packaging material – all of which can be tracked via the company’s internally-held mapping server over a secured VPN.
Knowing where police officers are deployed and enabling the two-way flow of essential information has, quite literally, put Airpoint of Syston, Leicestershire, on the map. The company’s Dynamic Briefing application links devices in the field with advanced mapping functionality and dynamically delivers information such as recent incidents, vulnerable or wanted people, and vehicles of interest. By the same token, headquarters staff can see the location of resources, overlay intelligence data and operational plans on the map, and view still or video imagery from the field.
More on this - and next year’s event (5-6 March 2019) - can be found at: https://www.counterterrorexpo.com, while additional photos from this year’s event can be found at www.geoconnexion.com/articles