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The BalScan system by Laboratory Imaging has been developed for examination and comparison of markings on fired ammunition. Cartridge cases and bullets are examined, compared, scanned in 2D or 3D, and saved to a database. A special software application searches the database and displays a hit list of possible matches. The forensic expert has a full set of comparison functions at hand to confirm the match.

Wide range of calibers can be digitized in BalScan, from smallbore rifle ammunition to .12 Gauge shotgun shells. Bullets, cartridge case bottoms, or cartridge case surfaces are scanned in high 3μm resolution including 3D information. BalScan is very suitable for scanning and comparison of deformed bullets, bullet fragments and even direct scanning of the breech face and the firing pin of a firearm.

The reliable Oracle database is an important part of the BalScan system. The database is organized in two distinct forms. The database of criminal cases contains evidences related to the crime scene along with test bullets and cartridge cases. The firearms database includes fired bullets and cartridge cases linked to a particular registered firearm. The database can be installed on a standalone server connected to other BalScan workstations within a private network. Active workstations provide live examination, digitizing of bullets/cartridge cases, searching the database, and comparisons. Passive workstations (without the BalScan device) provide search and comparison only. A minimal setup contains just one active workstation which covers the complete functionality (digitization, database, comparisons).


 Acquisition Features

  • Top quality monochrome digital camera (optionally color)
  • Top quality telecentric lens developed specially for the BalScan device
  • Precise laser focus
  • Segmented circular LED illuminator, LED linear side light
  • High resolution of 3μm/px

Motorization and Control

  • The device is fully controllable via the BalScan software and a programmable joystick
  • Precision stepper motors are used to move the object in four axes: X, Y, Z, and rotation

Included System Accessories

  • Bullet holders for calibres .177; .22; 6.35mm Browning; 7x57mm; 7.65 Br.; 8x57mm; 9mm; 9.5; .40 S&W; .45 ACP; .50 BMG
  • Universal cartridge case holder – up to the size .12 Gauge shotgun shell

Speed and Data Size

9 mm LUGER / mono camera

  2D Acquisition 3D Acquisition
Pristine bullet surface* 3:00min ~15MB 4:55min ~70MB
Pristine bullet surface* 3:00min ~15MB 4:55min ~70MB
Cartridge case bottom 1:00min ~15MB 1:40min ~35MB
Cartridge case surface* 6:30min ~18MB 14:00min ~80MB

Network Configuration

Workstation purpose Image acquisition Search & compare Database hosting
Active system (PC + Device) YES YES YES
Pristine bullet surface* 3:00min ~15MB 4:55min ~70MB
Passive system (PC only) - YES YES
Dedicated DB Server - YES YES
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