Summer Course 2013: Solving Chemical-Forensic Problems (in Spanish)

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Summer Course 2013: Solving Chemical-Forensic Problems (in Spanish)

We started another European Project: HOME/2012/ISEC/AG/CBRN/4000003800. Exchange of explosives data to make a comprehensive database through police laboratories cooperation

The exchange of information among police laboratories is important to improve their current methods and favour harmonization among laboratories. A secure website is proposed as platform to exchange explosives data in order to be incorporated in the databases of police laboratories and improve their capability for detection of explosives. This site is also an appropriate context to exchange other type of information since it is supported by the research group in forensic chemistry INQUIFOR (www.inquifor.com) and by members of the Forensic International Network for Explosives Investigation (FINEX).

The main objective of this project is to stimulate and favour the exchange of analytical data of explosives and their precursors between qualified institutions through a secured and limited access database. This objective will be achieved pursuing five specific goals: (i) designing a website containing a database enabling an easy and secure exchange of analytical data (ii) elaborating an initial database collecting available data for explosives and their precursors, (iii) collecting a comprehensive database of data elaborated following a “bartering philosophy” with associate partners and (iv) transferring the project results by using the web-site and the European Network of Forensic Sciences Institutes (ENFSI) and the FINEX meetings.

The ExCHANGE project will be coordinated by the UAH-IUICP and count with the participation of several associate partners who will exchange data and provide a feedback on the project. This project will have a duration of 24 months and the different activities that have been planned will be included in the following 5 working packages (WP). The first WP is destined to the management of the project and will include project planning and management of the proposal activities and progress towards the goals as well as the preparation of technical and financial reports and general paper work. A second WP will focus on the elaboration of an initial database with Mass Spectrometry (MS), Infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Х-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Liquid Chromatography coupled to MS (LC-MS), Gas Chromatography coupled to MS (GC-MS) and Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) data already collected for explosives and their precursors by UAH-IUICP and URI will be performed. Activities of this WP will be programming a wellstructured, organised, strong, flexible, scalable and web-manageable relational database; programming a clean-coded management module for bridging the webpage and the database; providing analytical data from UAHIUICP and URI; and typing the collected data into the database form. In a third WP, the design of a secure website containing a database enabling the easy exchange of analytical data using a “bartering philosophy”. Activities planned for this WP will include contracting a trusted and secure hosting plan; configuring a secure HTTPS domain; programming a clean malware-proof-code webpage; and using a clear, simple and user friendly interface. These activities will require a previous clear definition of the database information. The fourth WP will be focused to achieve a comprehensive database elaborated following a “bartering philosophy” with associate partners. To achieve this WP, three activities will be performed: programming of a clean-coded module for validating, bartering, importing and converting analytical data items uploaded by registered users; implementing and offering well-visible in-house Really Simple Syndication (RSS) news cast for users; and, finally, validating the database operability by associate partners. The fifth and last WP will be focused to transfer project results in order to expand database information.

We started a new European Project: HOME/2011/ISEC/AG. NEW IDENTIFICATION METHODS OF IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES AND POST-BLAST RESIDUES BY RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY TO PREVENT CRIMINAL ACTIONS

The development of methods capable to detect explosives in intact samples and post-blast residues is important in different EU action plans (EU CBRN Action Plan of 2009 and EU Action Plan for the Enhancement of the Security of Explosives of 2008). This proposal look for a synergy between the important expertise in the explosive/terrorism fields of the Spanish Security Forces and the research capacities of the University to develop innovative methods to detect explosives. The University Institute of Research in Police Sciences (IUICP) is a joint institute depending on the University of Alcalá (UAH) and the Spanish Ministry of Interior. This institute constitutes an ideal context to perform this project.

The main objective of the project is to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by Raman spectroscopy. This objective will be achieved pursuing four specific goals: (i) acquiring a deep knowledge on IEDs and over the state of the art of Raman spectroscopy, prioritizing explosives of police interest and technological knowledge on the spectroscopic technique, (ii) developing sensitive, selective, and fast Raman spectroscopic methods for the analysis of IEDs in intact samples and residues found in crime scenarios and study of traceability from post-blast residues to the IED composition, (iii) elaborating a database containing the collected Raman spectra recorded for non-exploded and exploded IEDs, and (iv) transferring the project results at EU level.

The project will be carried out by the IUICP as coordinator and the Technological Institute “La Marañosa” (ITM) as subcontracted institution which will provide explosives and post-blast samples. Different activities have been planned for a project duration of 36 months. Activities has been included in 6 working packages (WP). The first WP is destined to the management of the project and will include project planning and management of the research activities and progress towards the goals as well as the preparation of technical and financial reports and general paper work. A second WP will study the IEDs from a police point of view defining explosives and components used in IEDs and selecting and prioritizing analytes and samples related to IEDs of police interest. In a third WP, the current technological state of the art of Raman spectroscopy will be considered to prepare courses/seminars for the police institutions and a study the SERS mode for improving sensitivity in Raman spectroscopy. The fourth WP will be focused to the analysis of intact and exploded IEDs by Raman spectroscopy to finally perform traceability studies to relate post-blast residues with the composition of IEDs used in a crime scenario. In a five WP the development of an IEDs Raman spectra database of intact and exploded IEDs will be pursued. A final WP dedicated to the divulgation and transference of project results. This last WP will be focused to the elaboration of papers in scientific/police journals, attending to conferences (specifically, in the Forensic International Network for Explosives Investigation (FINEX), which is an European Network of Institutes of Forensic Sciences (ENFSI) expert working group on explosives), and organizing an European workshop to train/teach on the technological innovations of the project to other European Polices.