Case Studies

Accidents under the Microscope

Accidents under the Microscope

Nickl, a consultancy company that specialises in forensics and technical reports, also relies on this instrument. On behalf of German courts, the Munich based company scans entire accident sites and damage to vehicles, roads and buildings. In order to do this, it uses a model from the FARO Photon series.

The mobile scanner creates 3D images of the surrounding objects at speeds of 120,000 to 976,000 pixels per second. Every detail is accurate and the whole process is carried out in colour. Only its light beam comes into contact with the evidence and objects at the location. Minutes later, the investigator has left the inspection site and provides the digitalised data to all involved in reconstructing the course of the accident or crime.

Nickl’s engineers produce with the “View Pro” visualisation and animation software from the company Pointools undistorted pictures – so-called orthophotos – and video clips which can vary the viewing angle. They insert 3D-representations to scale, for example of the accident vehicles, into the scanned environment and simulate their movements. In this way, geometric details of the accident location or objects involved can be clarified quickly and with great precision.

FARO scanners came to the attention of the engineering consultancy firm in 2006 at the Trade Congress of the European Association for Accident Research and Accident Analysis (EVU). After a series of demonstrations and tests, Nickl decided to acquire a model from the Photon series.


The firm’s co-proprietor, Dr Alexander Sporrer, comments on the use of the device in his company as follows: “Our aim is to substantially improve the analysis of car accident scenes. There is no standard solution for what we have in mind. We greatly appreciate Photon’s precision and we expect that scanning accident scenes will become the method of choice.”

About Nickl Engineering Consultants, Munich

In its almost 50-year history, Nickl, the engineering consultancy company from Munich, has built up a reputation as a highly competent vehicle and accident investigator. Alongside classic damage assessment and accident reconstruction, Nickl also offers technical analyses to secure evidence. The firm’s core work includes the biomechanical evaluation of traffic accidents and other sequences that produce injuries. The firm ensures that its technical knowledge is both broad and up-to-date through independent scientific work and contact with leading industrial companies and research institutes.

More information:

Register for an Account
Forgot password?