Project Description

VAR Lab is collaborating with La Roche University (Department of Justice, Law and Security; CSI Lab) and Mercyhurst University (Applied Forensic Sciences undergraduate program and the Forensic and Biological Anthropology master’s program) individuals at to explore the potential for (a) lidar scanning in forensic settings and (b) creating immersive educational experiences for us by forensic students.

Pictured below is a lidar scan of an area where second-year graduate students (under the tutelage of Dr. Dirkmaat) supervised undergraduate participation as they unearthed a grave, for a simulation burial dig. VAR Lab was able to take lidar scans during the different stages of the process. In a real burial unearthing, lidar scans provide numerous benefits, including the ability to take precise measurements between different points if, after the dig, something needed to be measured ex post facto. These scans offer benefits over 2D photos in which things are not always measurable. While this was an initial proof of concept, the collaboration between VAR Lab and these Forensic Science programs is ongoing, with plans for multiple scans, including both real and simulated burial sites, in the future.

_forensic lidar