Detection of single graves by airborne hyperspectral imaging

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Journal titleForensic Science International
Pages1723; # of pages: 7
SubjectHyperspectral; Grave detection; Single burial; Airborne remote sensing
AbstractAirborne hyperspectral imaging (HSI) was assessed as a potential tool to locate single grave sites. While airborne HSI has shown to be useful to locate mass graves, it is expected the location of single graves would be an order of magnitude more difficult due to the smaller size and reduced mass of the targets. Two clearings were evaluated (through a blind test) as potential sites for containing at least one set of buried remains. At no time prior to submitting the locations of the potential burial sites from the HSI were the actual locations of the sites released or shared with anyone from the analysis team.The two HSI sensors onboard the aircraft span the range of 408-2524. nm. A range of indicators that exploit the narrow spectral and spatial resolutions of the two complimentary HSI sensors onboard the aircraft were calculated. Based on the co-occurrence of anomalous pixels within the expected range of the indicators three potential areas conforming to our underlying assumptions of the expected spectral responses (and spatial area) were determined. After submission of the predicted burial locations it was revealed that two of the targets were located within GPS error (10. m) of the true burial locations. Furthermore, due to the history of the TPOF site for burial work, investigation of the third target is being considered in the near future. The results clearly demonstrate promise for hyperspectral imaging to aid in the detection of buried remains, however further work is required before these results can justifiably be used in routine scenarios.
Publication date
AffiliationAerospace; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272824
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Record identifier53925cee-0cb6-40e8-b378-708245a12271
Record created2014-12-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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