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IARPA launches tender opportunity for ‘whole-body’ biometric identification from a distance

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Surveillance
IARPA launches tender opportunity for ‘whole-body’ biometric identification from a distance

A new contract opportunity for ‘whole-body’ biometric technology to identify people from long range and elevated platforms like watchtowers or drones has been posted by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The solicitation, which is made under the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), calls the capability the ‘Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range (BRIAR) Program.’

BRIAR Program requirements include the capability to identify people with biometrics from 300 meters or further away, “through atmospheric turbulence,” and with sensor platforms observing subjects from angles greater than 20 degrees. Those capabilities are sought by many intelligence and Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, according to the ‘Broad Agency Announcement’ document.

Facial recognition has become the biometric modality of choice for intelligence and DoD missions with unconstrained conditions. Further, the ability of the technology to deal with constraints in the form of pose, illumination and expression characteristics has been developed significantly, IARPA says, referring to its Janus Program.

“Expanding the range of conditions in which accurate and reliable biometric-based  identification  could  be  performed  would  greatly  improve  the  number  of  addressable missions,  types  of  platforms  and  sensors  from  which  biometrics  can  be  reliably  used,  and  quality  of outcomes and decisions,” the Agency explains.

The solicitation document follows a Request for Information from IARPA on the same capabilities last year.

The program is proposed to be carried out in three phases, with the first two lasting 18 months each, the first for subcomponent development to feasible accuracy standards with a controlled gallery and offline processing. The second would advance the project to integration, ‘relevant’ accuracy and only a partially-controlled database, with matches processed in real-time. The 12-month third phase would involve optimization of the system to ‘confidant’ accuracy, and unconstrained image capture with matching to a watchlist performed at the network edge.

BRIAR Program target metrics are 85 percent TAR at 0.01 percent FAR for whole-body verification and 70 percent TAR at 0.01 percent FAR for face only verification, and 98 percent retrieval rate in the top 20 from a database of 1,000 subjects in a 1:N closed search with whole body, and 95 percent with face biometrics.

Offers are due February 10, 2021.

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