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High-resolution 3-D Images of Fingerprints

Generally, biometrics is the measurement of human physical and biological characteristics which are unique to each individual. The purpose of such measurement is for the personal identification required to provide restricted access to areas, data, and objects, and for some cases in medical emergencies.

At the IDIR, we are currently focusing on acoustic fingerprints imaging. Acoustic imaging has a long and successful story of biophysical and NDE (non-destructive evaluation) applications. In the case of fingerprints, this method is able to reveal not just the groove pattern but the entire sub-skin structure, with the possible identification of blood movement.

Our goal is to develop a prototype device for the acquisition and processing of acoustical images of fingerprints. According to the most cutting-edge specifications of today, such a system should produce a 3-D image of the fingertip area with a 1,000 dpi resolution, upon a three to five second inspection.  This requires very high scanning velocity of a complexly shaped surface. Optimal configuration for the devise in question includes a multi-transducer cylindrical scanner with a high speed data acquisition system.

In our preliminary work here at the IDIR, we have measured the basic parametres and requirements for such a system. Acoustical images of fingerprints were obtained with the use of a standard desktop acoustical microscope, specifically, the Tessonics AM1103. The instrument demonstrates a high potential for this biometrics method in detecting groove patterns and skin structure.

Currently, the design process for a system prototype is in its final stages. In the fall-winter period of 2009-2010, the prototype will be fabricated, debugged and tested. Device improvement and its incorporation into a security network will then be the next step. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011, followed by commercial production of the product.