Ardavan Tajbakhsh carries out the dual role of vice-president and chief technology officer at Pyramidal Technologies. As vice-president he provides strategic leadership and vision for business development and client solutions by helping guide the evolution of the leadership structure and strategic plan and creating goals and objectives based on specific principles including quality and sound financial management. His role as chief technology officer includes, amongst other things, aligning technology vision and research with business strategy by integrating company processes with the most appropriate technologies.
Pyramidal Technologies is an advanced technology company dedicated to transforming the multibillion dollar automated forensic ballistics imaging industry. As a market driven organization with a unique technological base, its goal is to capture the world market in this field by establishing a new standard in forensic ballistics imaging and identification. Equally important, company executives also believe they have a social responsibility and mandate to be proactive around shared interests, purposes, and values in delivering solutions that can support civil societies. They are passionate about engaging in actions that further social good, beyond their inherent responsibilities for the corporate interests of their organization.
Pyramidal Technologies have been developing and manufacturing solutions that result in a quantum increase in efficiency for forensic scientists, crime scene personnel, and investigators to dramatically improve their ability to determine a common origin weapon for fired bullets and cartridge casings in criminal investigations. Called ALIAS (advanced ballistics analysis system), this technology enables forensic scientists to analyze more data more efficiently with the net result that more violent criminals will be identified, apprehended, and convicted.
“This technology enables forensic scientists to analyse more data more efficiently with the net result that more violent criminals will be identified, apprehended, and convicted.”
Based on integrating an innovative data capture platform purpose built for forensic ballistics, using interferometry, possessing exceptional precision with three dimensional analysis algorithms, the breakthrough concept in forensic ballistics generates an exponential increase in the data available for analysis that is far beyond the reach of the existing image-based technology. An interferometer is an advanced optical system, frequently used in astronomy, fiber optics, or quantum physics that projects conflicting light waves to produce high-resolution images and allows for precision measurements far beyond the capability of even the best camera or microscope. Because ALIAS’ interferometer does not use visible light to create a “digital clone” of crime scene evidence, forensic technicians and scientists will no longer be restricted to dealing with light and dark areas on evidence they are examining produced by a directional light source. The focus of ALIAS is to develop very high-confidence matches between evidence collected at crime scenes through a combination of numerical scores and non-traditional visualisation techniques. In concrete terms, this means that ALIAS will yield an intensely detailed 3D topographic map of a bullet or cartridge case versus the relatively limited imaging provided by competitors, thereby allowing for a higher confidence evaluation of the cartridge cases or bullets being compared. This is achieved through ALIAS’ exceptional interferometer, now in its fifth generation, that has a lateral resolution of 1.6μm (micrometers) or approximately one-third the diameter of a spider’s dragline silk and a vertical resolution of 200nm (nanometers) or about one-quarter the minimum thickness of a human red blood cell. ALIAS distinguishes itself against all other products in this space in many significant ways.
First of all, it is the only solution that provides comprehensive services across, as well as between, the following domains:
- Forensic Ballistics – The forensic process of examining the characteristics of firearms as well as any cartridges or bullets left behind at a crime scene
- Firearms Management – Initiatives requiring individuals to formally record ownership of their firearms, usually with a state or federal agency
- Criminal Intelligence – Developing investigative leads for detectives by allowing law enforcement to “mine” and analyse their own forensic ballistics evidence
“The focus of ALIAS is to develop very high-confidence matches between evidence collected at crime scenes through a combination of numerical scores and non-traditional visualisation techniques.”
The strength of any forensic ballistics solution lies in its ability to provide irrefutable evidence in a court of law in the prosecution of a violent firearms-related case. Using a white light interferometer built by its team in Switzerland, ALIAS’ unprecedented resolution allows firearms examiners to see details on crime scene evidence not available to other systems, thus empowering law enforcement officials to solve cases that others cannot. Because ALIAS is the only open architecture forensic ballistics and firearms management solution in the world today, it can be interfaced with other open systems (e.g. AFIS: the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, ANPR: Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, border security systems used by immigration personnel, etc.) to create regional, national, or global infrastructures for security management. ALIAS’ open architecture extends the ability of law enforcement officials by offering an open application programme interface (API) for “correlation”, thus allowing ballistic examiners to import their own customised correlation algorithms, even if they come from an ALIAS competitor. This way, ALIAS users can extend the power and scope of the correlation mechanism to meet their specific needs, and then share data with the global law enforcement community. Government and/or law enforcement officials have more purchase options with ALIAS than with any other automatic ballistics identification system available today. For example, ALIAS is comprised of a suite of products related to its workflow and the workflow for forensic ballistics within a crime lab, or for firearms management.
Either standalone, so called turnkey, or networked, ALIAS systems are offered as a:
- Purchase: A client can specify the number and type of systems they desire and have a budget prepared for this acquisition (capital investment);
- Lease to Own: A client has the opportunity to lease their purchase (e.g. over a 3, 5, or 7-year period) in order to reduce their up-front capital investment and spread this purchase over a number of years; or
- Lease as Service: Clients take possession of any quantity of ALIAS systems where the infrastructure is owned by Pyramidal Technologies, the client owns all the criminal evidence data (that can be exported to other systems), and makes incremental quarterly payments on use of the systems. The client remains at the cutting edge of this technology as new software and hardware is rolled out annually, keeping at the forefront of the lifecycle.
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