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Sprawling US intel project to improve long-distance biometrics on college campus

Sprawling US intel project to improve long-distance biometrics on college campus
 

A face, gait and whole-body biometric recognition project begun in 2019 by U.S. national labs continues. Research teams across the nation are working on better ways to more accurately identify subjects outdoors and from a distance.

The latest news comes from a community college, College of DuPage, west of Chicago. Scientists from the Oak Ridge National Lab have been working with school volunteers for the last month.

Students were given play money and told to move around as naturally as possible, visiting a faux bank, eating a snack and re-arranging the contents of a car, according to College of DuPage marketing material.

The project, known as BRIAR, or Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, is supposed to come up with better situational awareness for United States intelligence agencies and the military.

That boost in awareness at up to 300 meters or 900 feet could be used by snipers.

BRIAR is managed by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, and includes tests involving cameras posted high in the air and on drones to find ways of seeing through the wavering effect of air turbulence.

Oak Ridge scientist are part of a nationwide set of BRIAR projects overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center and the Research and Technology Integration Directorate

BRIAR contracts were awarded to private enterprises Accenture Federal Services, Intelligent Automation, and Kitware, and universities such as Michigan State University, the University of Houston and the University of Southern California to address the full range of research objectives. Focused research grants were given to teams from Carnegie Mellon University and General Electric Research.

The U.S. state of Alabama, as part of BRIAR, has parceled federal grants to small businesses, one of which is Polaris Sensor Technologies, according to the Huntsville Business Journal. The firm is developing algorithms capable of facial recognition, regardless of the hour from up to 1,600 feet (500 meters).

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