All posts by Michelle Chernicoff

NFSTC mobile forensic lab gets innovative LumaStream LED lighting

LumaStream installs low profile LED lights in a mobile forensic lab The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) and LumaStream have teamed up to bring innovative and durable LED lighting to a mobile forensic laboratory.

Deployable forensic laboratories, created from standard ISO shipping containers, are an efficient and fully-customizable way to provide forensic capability expansion in combat situations and or forensic capabilities after a natural disaster or other crisis. They can be used as temporary DNA labs, fingerprint stations, chemistry analysis centers or other discipline.   NFSTC created the design in 2007 and is constantly updating the design to improve performance and durability.

“Proper lighting is critical in forensic analysis work. Working with LumaStream will bring the next big leap of improvement to our mobile labs,” says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC. “We always look to partner with local companies first, and having LumaStream design and build these lights right in our backyard is a great opportunity.”

LumaStream replaced aging and bulky fluorescent lights with low profile LEDs that will provide adjustable light, previously unavailable in the mobile labs. Because the new lighting technology uses remote power conversion, the lights are far less likely to fail than other systems.

“We’re excited to work with NFSTC to help them create the next generation of deployable forensic laboratories,” says Eric Higgs, president and CEO of LumaStream. “Our lighting technology is incredibly durable and long-lasting. If this lab is in a remote location, a lighting failure is not an option.”

The newly-lit laboratory will be used for training and demonstration of new technologies.


About LumaStream

LumaStream makes award winning low-voltage LED lighting solutions that are the most efficient and controllable in the lighting industry. LumaStream’s patented innovations are based on remote digital power conversation, paired with a wide range of luminaires, and seamless control integration. This system approach eliminates fixture failures and the associated maintenance, and provides high quality light for the full rated life of LEDs. Target markets include commercial, institutional, retail, and hospitality markets. A fast-growing, creative company, LumaStream is developing high quality innovative systems with unprecedented results for energy savings, long-distance low-voltage power distribution, and smooth, continual dimming control to less than 1%. LumaStream solutions are industry-leading and the results stunning. LumaStream strives for a sustainable, triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit, and is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL.

NFSTC to add forensic expertise to chemical detection technology database

CBRNE Tech Index logoThe National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) and CBRNE Tech Index announces a new partnership to provide forensic expertise to the database and technology evaluation tool. CBRNE Tech Index and NFSTC are teaming up to increase access to accurate and unbiased information about detection technology, allowing forensic agencies and investigators a way to compare technologies and find the tools that will best suit their needs.

CBRNE Tech Index is an independent database housing information and yielding comparisons of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) detection and analysis equipment. The database is accessible worldwide to make research easily searchable for people all over the world.

“Forensic science has a long history of adapting various detection technologies toward matters of crime and identification,” says Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC’s CEO. “Educating the detection consumer improves public safety and the Index is a useful tool when agencies are looking for new equipment. Many decision makers are not classically trained as chemists or scientists. Our partnership will help these agencies by providing objective perspectives on what tools are out there and whether they will work as intended.”

As partners, NFSTC will be responsible for providing expertise regarding the applicability of various technologies in the forensic arena. When shopping for new equipment to solve criminal justice problems, agencies need objective information that ensures taxpayer funding is spent in the most useful and appropriate way.

The Index currently houses information on more than 900 different detection tools. They are currently working on the addition of a forensic application tab and increased search capabilities will focus the field of possibilities for forensic and crime scene users. Technologies will be added to the forensic tab routinely to increase options for lab and agency users. NFSTC and CBRNE Tech Index, powered by MRI Global, are leaders in technology evaluation and regularly review technology for CBRNE and forensic use.

“Agencies purchasing new equipment need to understand that detection capability that has overlapping areas,” explains Lothridge. “For example, the HazMat team might be able to use the same explosives detection equipment as the SWAT team. Sharing the technology allows communities to make best use of their detection investments.”

The Index can be found at and is free of charge to the end user. Technology companies subscribe to the service.


About CBRNE Tech Index and MRIGlobal

CBRNE Tech Index is an independent, unbiased, and reliable database that reports on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) detection and analysis equipment. Our goal is to make this information easily accessible and searchable for people all over the world.  CBRNE Tech Index is operated by MRIGlobal and can be found at

MRIGlobal is an independent, not-for-profit organization that performs contract research for government, industry, and academia. Founded in 1944, MRIGlobal has a reputation for innovation, technical excellence, and problem solving. Today, as one of the nation’s leading research institutes, MRIGlobal conducts programs in the areas of national security and defense, global health and security, and energy. In addition to operating its own laboratories, MRIGlobal manages and operates laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Celebrating the third annual Forensic Science Week

It’s a week we anticipate all year. Now in its third year, National Forensic Science Week highlights the vital need for the industry as a public service. Forensic science has been in the spotlight and the hot seat this year. The truth is, when the science is properly used, it can and will service justice.

eek_Gov Scott ProclamationFor this week, we’ll be sharing advancements in the industry, tips for on-the-job photography, plus a first for NFSTC – a Reddit AMA, featuring Kevin Lothridge, CEO, taking questions about the evolution of forensic science.

For the second year in a row, the city of Largo, home to our Florida headquarters, has ordered a proclamation in honor of this week. Also joining us is Florida Governor Rick Scott declaring National Forensic Science week in the state.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all the latest information this week and throughout the year!

ROTC Cadets embark on biometric and forensic internship

Close up of a ROTC patch.This morning started with a “fall in Cadets” as 11 ROTC students arrived for the seventh annual Biometric and Forensic Internship at NFSTC. Over the next two weeks, the Cadets will receive unique training similar to that provided to our Department of Defense customers. From DNA and digital data to firearms and fingerprints, these students will be immersed in a field of growing importance to our nation’s security.

The ability to properly collect and document evidence in hot zones and battle sites provides actionable intelligence and identification information that can make the difference for soldiers. During the internship, the cadets will learn basic forensic training and get hands-on practice applying crime scene investigation techniques in NFSTC’s unique training facility. As future leaders in the nation’s military, this internship also builds skills such as leadership, decision-making, and prioritizing actions under pressure.

ROTC cadet collecting evidence at a crime scene house at NFSTC.The ROTC Cadets were hand-selected from colleges and universities from across the country for the program that costs $50,000 to host. NFSTC provides this experience at no cost to the students or command as part of our commitment to educating future Army leaders through a training not received in college and or basic ROTC training.

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their donations for the 2015 internship:


  • John Allison, NFSTC Board Member
  • Alakai Defense Systems
  • James Cali, NFSTC Board Member
  • Holiday Inn & Suites Harbourside
  • Mitchell Morrisey, NFSTC Board President
  • Benji Hutchinson
  • Chris Vivian
  • Amanda Reich
  • Lori Sullivan
  • Laura and Kevin Lothridge
  • Brian Smith
  • Federal Resources
  • Berg Companies

In-kind Donors

  • Lynn Peavey
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Net Bio
  • SpearTip
  • Eagle 32
  • Global SOF
  • Tampa Bay Yacht Charters
  • John Boscia
  • Training Team Solutions

NFSTC will host a photo gallery that captures the cadets in action throughout the two-week course on Facebook, so log on and follow along!

Another successful STEM TEC tour

Photographing fingerprintsIt was a whirlwind two hours for 24 high school students during our annual Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Training for Emerging Careers (TEC) tour. While some of them thought they were experts from watching marathons of CSI, by the afternoon every student walked away with new knowledge.

Each student participated in hands-on activities. From lifting fingerprints to testing a stain for the presence of blood, NFSTC’s expert instructors gave them an introduction to what CSI is really like. Students were also gifted with their own “CSI kit” to continue their interest in forensic science at home.

IMG_7040The STEM TEC program, developed by Junior Achievement and WorkNet Pinellas, provides career exploration and workplace readiness training to economically disadvantaged students age 14-17 through a four-week summer program and year-round engagements. The program includes employer site visits to gain job awareness and interest in STEM-specific fields.

You can see more great photos and videos on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.