Top four benefits to using Reflected Ultra-Violet Imaging Systems (RUVIS)

By: Jocelyne Terilli

In the 1970s, Chinese and Japanese forensic scientists were frustrated by not finding all latent fingerprints or contaminating the fingerprints they found via numerous development steps. They sought to create a new technology that would let them find a print without altering or touching it in any way.

Using Shortwave Ultra-Violet Light (254 nanometer), they found that the UV light would reflect off fingerprints. Using a special imager with a quartz lens, it could convert the light to a visible range. In the end, they found that using this technology, an investigator could search for prints using the imager and nothing else. There were no additional steps that could potentially alter or destroy the print.

Over the last 40 plus years, RUVIS has helped crime scene investigators and forensic scientists find more latent prints and evidence. David Alford, a retired FBI Special Agent and Sirchie Instructor identifies the top four benefits of using RUVIS systems during crime scene investigations and forensic laboratory work.

  1. Saving Time. No powders, no dye stains, no additional development processes needed with RUVIS as “you only need to use the Krimesite Imager to look for fingerprints,” says David. Making your life easier to detect & document treated or untreated latent prints.
  2. Preventing Contamination. Because you’re not altering the print to see it, there’s little chance of contamination of the evidence. David adds, “This helps keep the integrity of your evidence while you photograph prints.”
  3. Find Evidence on Difficult Surfaces. RUVIS is ideal for non-porous surfaces that may make it difficult to see a latent print. Glossy magazines with multi-colored backgrounds, aluminum cans, and waxed floors can prove challenging to find a print and identify good detail. “RUVIS helps eliminate the noise and highlights details.”
  4. Find More Evidence. It’s not only latent fingerprints, RUVIS can help you search for tire impressions and footwear impressions. “At a scene, I’ve found many footwear impressions with RUVIS, more than what I thought was there,” says David. With RUVIS, it helps you collect even more evidence. “Lab technicians have reported they find up to 1/3 more prints using RUVIS,” adds David.


Sirchie’s RUVIS solutions are ideal for use at crime scenes or in the laboratory on treated or untreated latent prints and footwear impressions.  Find the ideal RUVIS package for you:

  • Krimesite Capture ***NEW*** Harness the power of RUVIS in the lab or at the scene with the Krimesite Capture kit.  The most versatile RUVIS system ever built.  Identify and capture images of latent prints anywhere.  Use the included copy stand, computer and capture software to make your life examining and documenting latent print evidence easy and efficient.


  • Krimesite Imager. The RUVIS Imager with a dual filter slide assembly lets you photograph evidence as well.  It can be used with a DSLR camera to capture excellent latent ridge details.


  • Scan-n-Find Imager Kit. An affordable alternative to the Krimesite Imager, the Scan-N-Find, lets you scan a large area in a short amount of time. Ideal as a primary search tool to identify areas of interest and potential latent evidence.


  • Cyclops Imaging System. The Cyclops is a hands-free RUVIS system unit that can be hand-held or configured in a head mount assembly for hands-free use or used in a detachable pistol grip. Like the Scan-n-Find, it helps you easily identify areas of interest and potential latent evidence.




Combine The Krimesite, Scan-n-Find, and/or the Cyclops into Master kits to give you ideal search and documentation combinations.

RUVIS has proven itself to be a valuable technology in evidence collection and increases efficiency. Contact us today to learn more about what RUVIS can offer you or to get access to our recent webinar, “Using Reflected Ultra Imaging (RUVIS) to Find More Latent Evidence.”

With over 20 years of experience as an investigator, David was involved in the investigation of many domestic and international violent crimes and bombings including the Polly Klaas kidnapping and murder, the Unabomber’s cabin, and the 9/11 Pentagon scene. As a Sirchie Instructor, he will be teaching sections of our popular Evidence Collection class in November.  There’s still time to register.

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