Crime Scene Cleanup >> What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician

Sometimes total electrical isolation is a good thing— and that's the idea behind a power-over-fiber (PoF) communications cable being developed by Sandia engineers. "It's common to isolate communications between systems or devices by using fiber optic cables, but if power is required, What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician then sending power down a copper wire can at times be a safety-critical issue."

"Substituting it with battery power may not be suitable or practical,"says Steve Sanderson (6623). CABLE GUYS— What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician Titus Appel and Steve Sanderson (both 6623) with a first-generation power-over-fiber cable that converts a signal from electrical-to-optical-to-electrical, thus emulating an electrical cable with total isolation. 

He, Titus Appel (6623), and Walter Wrye, a former intern, are co-inventors of a patent-pending hybrid cable design that uses fiber to send and regulate optical power to the communications electronics integral to the cable.  What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician  The cable ends resemble a typical copper electrical cable with pin and socket connectors. 

However, optical interface circuits integrated into the connector housing, or backshell, provide fiber optic transmission of both data communications and optical power. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician To conserve energy, optical power is delivered only on demand.

Steve says. "The key issue here is to maintain total electrical isolation from any stray electrical energy and high-voltage electrical surges caused by such things as lightning strikes,"he says. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician The developers envision the PoF cable replacing existing copper cables in areas related to safety, such as security, explosives, explosion-proof environments, aviation, and medical devices. 

"The first-generation PoF cable just delivers optical power to the cable's internal electronics for data communication between devices. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician We are now adding the capability to deliver electrical power externally to a connected low-power device," Steve says. 

In the PoF cable's current version, the backshell encapsulates circular stacked circuit boards with LEDs coupled to plastic optical fibers for communications, What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician and a laser diode and miniaturized photovoltaic-type cell coupled to the ends of a single glass fiber for optical power delivery. 

The backshell is then filled with thermally conductive material to keep the laser diode cool during peak demands for power. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician Working on Gen-2 version In the next version, the team plans to use only glass fibers. "Although plastic fiber requires less preparation time than glass, it takes up more room,"Steve says. 

The team also is working with next-generation microcontrollers, new packaging layouts, and new optical devices to reduce the size. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician The team recently tested a PoF low-energy detonator firing cable with fireset electronics built into the backshell. 

The optically powered fireset embeds a microcontroller that reports such things as detonator resistance, temperature, and charging voltages, and receives command messages to fire the detonator. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician When it's idle or powered down, the circuitry is designed to short the detonator input leads to prevent unwanted electrical energy from reaching it. 

Steve came up with the concept about three years ago after being given the challenge by a project needing total electrical isolation between communication devices to meet safety requirements. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician The effort currently is being funded to develop a rugged PoF cable 3 to 4 meters long and production ready. 

"Our customer requested this length and a data rate greater than 20 kbit per second, but you could go much greater distances at lower data rates without increasing power levels,"Steve says. "Or, by increasing the power levels, data rates could be the same or higher." What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician The team built a prototype, fine-tuned the packaging, and began figuring out the process for mass production. 

Now, they're working to reduce the backshell's length from 4 inches to 2.5 inches, as well as decrease the weight and lower costs. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician "One of our ongoing objectives is to reduce the physical size so that it's more widely used,"says Steve, who has seen technology packaging shrink dramatically in the 35 years he's been with Sandia. 

"The PoF cable has power limitations,"Steve says. "It's not to be construed as a means to power your house, for example, or handle the high speeds of a computer network. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician "But because there are growing needs of low-power sensor/control applications related to safety, having convenient optically generated power available is a tremendous benefit." 

Patrice Gregory was born in 1980, 12 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, she earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University Maryland and was hired at Sandia. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician The Pine Bluff, Ark., native says that throughout her career journey, she felt King at her side. 

"His impact on my life is too enormous to verbalize,"Patrice (422) says. "I know every day that he is why I'm here right now." What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician LIVING LEGACY— Sandians, left to right, Melvin Bennett (10626), Patrice Gregory (0422), and Lydia Coleman (10694) recall the impact Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on their lives and the lives of their families. 

(Photo by Randy Montoya) King is an iconic figure in the African-American civil rights movement. He was a clergyman, activist, and leader who used nonviolent methods to bring about social change. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

He led the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his legendary I Have a Dream speech envisioning a color-blind society. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end racial segregation and racial discrimination. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician He fought poverty and promoted education. King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. 

He was 39. The federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday was signed into law in 1983. It is celebrated yearly on the third Monday of January to mark King's Jan. 15 birthday. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician While some states at first resisted acknowledging the holiday, it was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. 

'Can't imagine what life would have been like' Patrice's family went to the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., at Thanksgiving. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician "It was kind of surreal,"she says. "My grandmother who just turned 90 was there, and so was my youngest cousin who's 17. Everyone understood what Dr. King meant. 

Age isn't a factor in the impact he had on your life. I can't imagine what my life would have been like had he not sacrificed." Patrice's sentiments are shared by other young Sandians born after King's passing. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician Sean Harris, a graduate of La Cueva High School and the University of New Mexico, has worked as a Sandia software engineer for seven-and-a-half years. 

Harris, 29, received two Martin Luther King Jr. scholarships at UNM and went on to earn a master's degree in management information systems from the University of Illinois. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician He was a member of the same fraternity as King, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and went to Washington, D.C., in August for the opening of the King memorial.

"I've done a lot of research on Dr. King,"Sean says. "He was so involved in education and making sure African-Americans had opportunities to get an education. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician Even though he's not still around, his dream is being moved forward by giving people those opportunities." 

Sean says he connected to King's message and participated in MLK marches and commemorative events. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician "When I think about him, I think about the sacrifices he made so that we could have the opportunities we have today,"he says. "If not for him, I wouldn't be a Sandia employee, I wouldn't have graduated from La Cueva and UNM. 

He paved the way for the younger generation." Lydia Coleman (10694), a financial analyst with a degree in business administration from Prairie View A&M in Texas, says the King message she holds closest is that all people are created equal. "I think about the I Have a Dream speech. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician We won't be judged by the color of our skin,"she says. 

"The color of my skin doesn't define who I am. I define it." Lydia, 23, a Kansas native, says she doesn't think of King as a figure from the past. "To me, he's not history,"she says. "He's a part of how I see the world daily. What Is Needed To Be A Crime Scene Technician I see his dream still coming to pass."


 

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