Papillon Systems

from Russia


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PAPILLON Surface Scanner

At the heart of the ARSENAL system is its unique, versatile surface scanner which has been designed, engineered and is manufactured by PAPILLON. All-in-one, it offers a completely automated and comprehensive way of doing ballistic imaging. The scanner gets its versatility from its ability to scan specimens fired by rifled and smoothbore firearms capturing images of both bullets and cartridge cases including fragmented and deformed samples.

The scanner provides 360-degree circumference imaging of bullets and cartridge cases as well as imaging of cartridge case heads. Fragmented and deformed specimens, including those referred to smoothbore firearms, are scanned in sections to ensure that all rifling impressions and striations are captured.

There are no constraints imposed on the dimensions and shape of the specimens to be scanned – big, deformed, fragmented – this device can capture images of the full range of exhibits, including their fragments, encountered by forensic laboratories today.

The seamless image of the entire surface is generated in the process of scanning, which makes a valuable advantage this method provides versus fragmentary techniques where the final image is a result of “pasting together“ separate fragments with elimination of inevitable borderline defects and compensation for light differences on neighboring areas with significant differentials in relief altitudes.

The scanner is supplied with accessories to meet any scanning need: cartridge case holder for a single specimen, automatic dial-type holder for feeding 10 cartridge cases onto the scanner, various types of holding stands (magnetic, adhesive and plastic coated) for scanning side surfaces of specimens, and an ad-hoc holder for projectiles fired from smoothbore firearms (shot pellets).

The scanner uses several different modes for illuminating objects:
  • bullet and cartridge case sides, fragments and deformed bullets are scanned in oblique (indirect) lighting
  • cartridge case headstamp images are captured in:
    • direct annular lighting
    • 45°-sectored lighting at different angles
Thus, for a cartridge case head there can be captured up to 9 images.

Annular diffused lighting

Annular direct lighting

Sectored lighting (Sector 1)

Sectored lighting  (Sector 2)

Sectored lighting  (Sector 3)

Sectored lighting  (Sector 4)

Sectored lighting  (Sector 5)

  Sectored lighting  (Sector 6)

  Sectored lighting  (Sector 7)

Sectored lighting  (Sector 8)


The sectored lighting creates a greater tonal range of shadows on the surface creating a better image for analysis and matching. This mode of lighting makes breechface and ejector marks and firing-pin impressions more legible, with more details revealed. At the same time, it makes any manufacturer’s imperfections and irregularities less pronounced.

The scanning process automatically calculates and controls the parameters of light intensity, thereby excluding overexposed images and ensuring consistent image quality without loss of information.

The scanner works equally fine for scanning specimens made of different material compositions – the reflecting property of material is taken into account when calculating the light intensity.

Breechface mark in annular light

Ejector mark in annular light

Over-exposure has caused loss
of information

New lighting mechanism allows
to avoid loss of information

Breechface mark in sectored light

Ejector mark in sectored light


The PAPILLON ballistic scanner is easy to use. That is why it can be operated, with just a few hours training, by people with a skill set below that of an expert firearm examiner who can then be free to focus on work requiring expert skills.

Bullet side scanning

Cartridge case head scanning

Deformed bullet scanning

Smoothbore missile scanning


Surface Scanner Features:

CCD-sensor 7500 elements
Maximum scanning depth 7 mm
Field of vision 20 Θ 20 mm
Resolving capacity (2D) 3 microns
Resolving capacity (3D) 10 mirons
Caliber of bullets/cartridge cases 1 to 22 mm
Bullet/case side scanning time 1.5 minutes

Cartridge case head scanning time:
      1 images captured in annular light
      1image captured in annular light and 8 images in sectored light

1 minute
10 minutes

Measurement accuracy of land width 0.015 mm
Measurement accuracy of rifling pitch 0.15Ο
Power supply 15V (DC)
Power consumption 70 Watt
Dimensions 400 Θ 228 Θ 217 mm
Weight 10.3 kg
Interface PCIe

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