Since the introduction of the ESDA in 1978 Foster + Freeman have been recognised as world leaders in the field of questioned document examination.

Foster + Freeman systems can be found in airports, border crossings, immigration controls, banks and forensic laboratories worldwide.

Common applications include the verification of passports and ID cards, the detection of alterations and counterfeits, and the inspection of standard and advanced security features.


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Video spectral comparator v400 v40


The leading high resolution multi-spectral imaging system for questioned documents


A compact full featured QDE system.

VSC®40/HD Range

A modular QDE system tailored to fit the individual requirements of the examiner

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6000 LF

 qc1  eyed  
Ultra high resolution imaging


Multi-spectral imaging for large documents, security printing and works of art


A rapid, semi-automatic document scanner for the frontline verification of passports and ID cards


Compact, lightweight system for checking security features of travel documents


Ultra-high resolution questioned document imaging system.

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ESDA electrostatic detection apparatus

ESDA-lite portable ESDA device


DVM security taggant detection and examination microscope


The industry standard method of revealing indentations or impressions on paper.


Designed for travelling and supplied complete with accessories in a robust padded carrying case.


Raman spectrometers for the examination of ink, toners and other materials attached to documents


Digital Video Microscope for the detection and examination of security micro-taggants

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ECCO - LIBS Spectrometer

ffTA - Foram X3 Raman Spectrometer



Questioned Document Examination (QDE) is considered to be the oldest of the forensic sciences pre-dating the use of fingerprints as means of identification by over 50 years. The primary purpose of questioned/forensic document examination is to answer questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods.

Questioned document examination systems are most commonly used by police forces, customs and excise, border patrol, and immigration as well as in banks, casinos, and specific fraud detection departments of insurance and benefits offices.

Some of the most commonly examined documents include:

Passports, visas, financial / fiduciary documents, driving licenses and other vehicle documents, identity cards, insurance documents, terror threats, and almost any other document that can be counterfeited or fraudulently modified.

Foster + Freeman’s document examination products can be divided into three main categories, multi-spectral comparison (the VSC range), Raman spectroscopy (Foram), and electrostatic detection (ESDA2 and lite).

About Multi-spectral comparison

Foster + Freeman’s flagship range of instruments are capable of viewing and recording the response of documents/inks when exposed to light of varying wavelengths including: - Visible, infrared (lighting and luminescence), ultraviolet, transmitted, coaxial, and oblique lighting.
This allows for the detailed examination and comparison of inks, security features (such as holograms and OVD’s), altered or obliterated information, and invisible personal information (IPI).

View products: VSC6000 - VSC400 - VSC40

About Raman spectroscopy

As different inks give different Raman spectra this means that they can be differentiated or matched using a Raman spectrometer such as the Foram. This method of examination is both cost effective and quick to perform.

View products: Foram

About Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA)

Originally created by Foster + Freeman in the early 1970s the ESDA device is commonly used by  questioned document examiners to reveal indented impressions on paper which may not be visible to the naked eye. The ESDA process is non-destructive meaning that further investigation of a document is possible.

View products: ESDA 2 - ESDA-lite

*In addition to the above document examination techniques, elemental analysis of pigments is also possible using the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) capabilities of the Foster + Freeman Ecco (see trace evidence examination).

About LIBS

This technique utilizes a very high energy pulse laser to ablate a microscopic amount of material and raise its temperature by tens of thousands of degrees. As the various elements return to their ground states the excited matter emits a characteristic emission spectrum that can be measured and compared.

View Products: ECCO