U.S. DoD’s new Biometric System Integration Laboratory developing numerous new capabilities

A new biometric collection system for the U.S. Department of Defense called Next Generation Biometric Collection is currently in the acquisition cycle following a material development decision, the Army News Service reports. The new system will replace the Biometric Automated Toolset with a more user-friendly system, while providing improved facial recognition capabilities and information processing speed in a smaller, more lightweight, yet rugged form.

As the DoD expands its biometric capabilities, voice and DNA biometrics are in intense development by its Biometric System Integration Laboratory, with the aim of deploying them to Iraq as early as this summer, according to William Graves, the chief engineer of the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S), whose office leads DoD biometric efforts.

The four-month old lab is making substantial advances in biometric collection and database querying, and also working on ways to integrate biometrics into existing sensors and platforms, Graves told the Service. The lab is also working on contactless biometric systems that do not require an operator present, as with the access control system recently deployed to Iraq for trial.

“Demand signal from the stakeholder community is high and continues to increase,” Graves said. “Foreign military sales are exploding in NATO and elsewhere.”

The lab, which is based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is also developing algorithms for collecting biometrics for persons of interest from video on the dark web and working on expanding its ABIS capabilities.

A portable ABIS system is in development at the lab to be used by the U.S. European Command for an upcoming Unified Vision 18 NATO exercise, according to Graves. The system is deployed in transit cases and plugged into existing network infrastructure. Additionally, a new ABIS system is being prepared ahead of an Army Requirements Oversight Council decision on a new build out in April, the Service reports.

The DoD is also working towards replacing the Common Access Card with newer technologies, including biometrics.

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