Understanding the Power of CT Scanning

ESi’s sophisticated Computed Tomography services, or CT, can be an invaluable tool in forensic analysis.

What is computed tomography?

CT imaging is a form of non-destructive evaluation that provides high-quality 3D images of an object and its internal structures. These images can be viewed from any angle, graphically deconstructed and reconstructed, layer by layer. This versatile technology can be employed to help clients with a wide range of data visualization and reconstruction needs.

A CT imaging scan can be used to create an accurate, permanent, and complete record of a scanned object. This avoids many of the costs and complications associated with data gathering and evidence spoliation. 

With a CT scan, you can preserve the features of objects for access even after testing has been performed. Because the scan data is digital, it can be readily distributed to multiple parties for analysis. This reduces the likelihood of travel, transportation, scheduling, and chain of custody issues.

CT images often provide critical information about the cause of a failure or valuable insights to help guide further inquiry. CT animations can elevate the way technical concepts are communicated to an audience. This is done by visually "walking" them through the object deconstruction and showing them the internal structures and likely failure modes. For example, if a forensic investigation needed to know which part of a machine was damaged, having a tomography scan done on the machine would allow investigators to see damaged pieces without deconstructing the machine. Using CT scanning as a forensic science resource will change the way that product malfunctions and recalls are evaluated; both during forensic analysis and in the courtroom.

Powerful Visualization, Deconstruction, Reconstruction, and Geometric Dimensioning

Our 3D CT scan technology is virtually unmatched when it comes to visualization, deconstruction, reconstruction, and geometric dimensioning. Common uses include mechanical and electrical system assemblies. Applications are also common in the transportation, aerospace, energy, construction, manufacturing, and medical device industries.

If a 2D view of an object is needed, our team can provide a high-quality x-ray from any angle. Our CT scanner displays a real-time x-ray view of the object as it is being positioned. This helps ensure the capture of the optimal image for the intended purpose.

ESi's Visualization Technologists provide carefully considered solutions to your data collection needs with the latest in cutting-edge technology. By working with us early on, our clients benefit from precision data collection and the critical insights they reveal. As these insights often inform potential outcomes, quality data collection and preservation should be the early priorities of any legal team.

Accurate data is central to any investigation of merit.

What does a CT scan show? 

When inspecting a component, there are often internal areas or obscured external surfaces which must be examined to find a defect or flaw. When disassembly or cutting is needed, internal parts can shift, break or fall apart, permanently altering or even destroying the object. It can also take numerous cuts to pinpoint an anomaly, and the cuts themselves can alter or destroy important evidence.

In this video, Dr. Richard Baron and Matthew Mulherin show how CT scans can be used to capture an object’s internal geometry in 3D, including details about its structures and materials. This information can dramatically reduce the time needed for inspection and analysis, providing visual access to internal and external surfaces, variations in density, and the positions and measurements of various structures in the object – all without cutting or disassembly. When additional testing is needed, the CT scan documents the state of the object before disassembly and can also guide efforts to orient and/or cut the object to rapidly reach the area in question.

How Can We Help?

With questions regarding our CT Scanning for forensic analysis, please contact: 

Chuck Fox