Trace Evidence Collection at Blast Scenes

Focus Area:Updated Digital Automotive Image System (DAIS) Digital and Multimedia Forensics

Description: The commission of crimes and terrorist acts frequently involve a motor vehicle. Having photos or images quickly available of all known vehicles with their accompanying data improves the chances of successful eye witness identification. Southwest Research Institute has updated and improved its last version of the Digital Automotive Image System (DAIS) that provided a front, side, and rear-view image of nearly every make and model of motor vehicle commercially manufactured in the last 20 years. The new system includes those cars made since the last version was produced three years ago. Investigators can search the database by vehicle category, body style, number of doors, and other traits besides the make and model. DAIS can produce photo lineups and “Be on the Lookout” type posters. DAIS, which was produced with the assistance of the FBI, fits on one DVD and is easily downloaded to a computer hard drive. In 2012, Southwest Research Institute distributed one DAIS DVD to each law enforcement agency in the United States. In the past, DAIS has played a significant role in a number of major cases. Law enforcement agencies may seek further information about DAIS by contacting

Project Cost: $115,000

Project Duration: 9 months

Operational Impact: Investigators and security personnel can quickly and accurately identify cars used in criminal and terrorist acts, produce photo line-ups, and “Be on the Lookout” posters. This tool has also standardized how car identification is approached.

Deliverable: 20,000 DVDs containing the DAIS system

Performer: Southwest Research Institute

End Users: Department of Defense and all law enforcement agencies within the United States

Transition: One DVD containing DAIS was distributed to all law enforcement agencies in the United States