About This Show
RTI International’s Center for Forensic Science presents Just Science, a podcast for forensic science professionals and anyone with an interest in learning more about how real crime laboratories are working to do their job better, produce more accurate results, become more efficient, and solve more crimes. This podcast deals with a range of issues, including leadership in the crime lab, new technologies, sexual assault response, and broader challenges for science and public security. We cover every type of forensic discipline, including DNA, fingerprints, trace evidence, toxicology, controlled substances, crime scene investigation, and much more!
The first season of Just Science was developed by RTI International through the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, a program of the National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Justice and funded in part through cooperative agreement [2016-MU-BX-K110].
Just Science is hosted by Dr. John Morgan, Senior Director of the Center for Forensic Science at RTI.
Most Recent Episode
Just Gunshot Acoustics Research_Special Release_014
This special release season of the 2017 NIJ R&D Symposium of Just Science, funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110], interviews Dr. Rob Maher.
Below is the abstract submitted where Dr. Rob Maher explains his research:
Gunshot acoustics–interpretation of the characteristic sounds produced by firearms recorded at a crime scene–is a specialization within the audio forensics field. Audio forensic evidence is increasingly common in law enforcement investigations because of the growing availability of inexpensive and lightweight digital voice recorders and miniature personal digital video camera systems for routine law enforcement and surveillance use. An increasing number of cases involving gunshot sounds are being captured in these audio recordings. The acoustical characteristics of a firearm depend upon the type of gun and ammunition, the distance and azimuth with respect to the gun barrel, and the acoustical reflections and reverberation due to nearby surfaces and objects. For scientific study it is necessary to separate the direct sound of the muzzle blast from the acoustic reflections, echoes, and reverberation that depend upon the recording environment. We use an elevated array of twelve specialized microphones capable of capturing the high intensity and short duration of the firearm’s muzzle blast concurrently over 180 degrees in azimuth. Each microphone is recorded with 16-bit resolution at a 500 kHz sampling rate, and the elevated platform allows the entire muzzle blast to be recorded before the arrival of the first acoustical reflection from the ground. This presentation includes a description of the firearm recording technique, the characteristics observed from these scientific recordings, recommendations on the use and processing of our database of firearm acoustical recordings, and a discussion of future prospects for forensic gunshot acoustical analysis.