Accuracy and Repeatability of Trajectory Rod Measurement Using Laser Scanners

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Three-dimensional (3D) technologies contribute greatly to bullet trajectory analysis and shooting reconstruction. There are few papers which address the errors associated with utilizing laser scanning for bullet trajectory documentation. This study examined the accuracy and precision of laser scanning for documenting trajectory rods in drywall for angles between 25° and 90°. The inherent error range of 0.02°–2.10° was noted while the overall error for laser scanning ranged between 0.04° and 1.98°. The inter- and intraobserver errors for trajectory rod placement and virtual trajectory marking showed that the range of variation for rod placement was between 0.1°–1° in drywall and 0.05°–0.5° in plywood. Virtual trajectory marking accuracy tests showed that 75% of data values were below 0.91° and 0.61° on azimuth and vertical angles, respectively. In conclusion, many contributing factors affect bullet trajectory analysis, and the use of 3D technologies can aid in reduction of errors associated with documentation.

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