Thermal Ribbon Analysis Platform

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Thermal Ribbon Analysis PlatformFocus Area: Criminalistics

Description: Fraudulent and counterfeit documents are an essential tool for terrorists and criminals when they engage in activities such as illegal border crossings, credit card fraud, financial crimes, and unauthorized entry of facilities. Those engaged in counterfeiting often leverage commercially available printers that use thermal ribbons as media. These ribbons, once used, become potential evidence for investigators; the ribbons themselves retain latent images of what was printed with them.  Recovering imagery from the ribbons, however, can be difficult and time consuming for forensic examiners.  In this CTTSO sponsored project, Quantum Signal LLC developed a new, integrated tool for scanning thermal ribbons and recovering their imagery.  The Thermal Ribbon Analysis Platform (TRAP) enables high-quality scanning of ribbons of many types and sizes and reduced the time required from weeks to hours. TRAP has been deployed and is being used to recover evidence for active cases by multiple US government agencies.

Project Cost: $548,000

Project Duration: 15 months

Operational Impact: TRAP facilitates fast, high-quality recovery of critical evidence that would otherwise take large amounts of effort to recover.  This evidence supports the investigation and prosecution of counterfeit document and other criminal and terrorism related cases.

Deliverable: A new, first-of-its-kind forensic tool for use in forensic questioned document laboratories.

Performer: Quantum Signal, LLC

End Users: United States Secret Service, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community

Transition: TRAP is currently available for purchase through the developer and distributors.