DOD prepares for biometric-embedded smart card pilot

The Defense Department's Biometrics Management Office plans to complete its last proof of concept for a biometric-enabled Common Access Card by the end of April and start a pilot as early as this summer.

Late last month, the BMO awarded BearingPoint Inc., a systems integration consultant of McLean, Va., a $1.2 million contract to develop a proof of concept for a biometric-enabled contactless smart card which includes systems and uses for the cards.

BearingPoint, the prime contractor, awarded SAFLINK Corp. of Bellevue, Wash., developer of biometric application software $137,000 to help it find uses for biometrics for wireless physical access control.

'They have 120 days to develop and deliver their solutions for the evaluation process,' said Min Chong, a spokesman in the BMO. 'Once the vendors deliver their solution to be evaluated, the CAC-Biometrics Working Group will make a recommendation to the DOD Smart Card Senior Coordinating Group as to what the next step should be.'

Deployments can only occur if the Senior Coordinating Group approves, he said.

This is the last phase of the proofs of concept. In the first phase, CAC-A, the BMO sought the best way to store military employees' biometric information. The second proof of concept, CAC-B, sought to integrate biometric information with specific applications, while the third proof of concept, CAC-C, will show the BMO uses of the a biometric-enabled contactless CAC.

The companies will work with scientists at the DOD Biometrics Fusion Center in West Virginia to find uses for a contactless, biometric-embedded smart card.

'The overall DOD CAC program is an effort to find a framework solution that provides the flexibility to meet the needs of the Department of Defense, including supporting multiple biometric technologies and devices'not just a single technology,' said Walter Hamilton, vice president of business development for SAFLINK in a statement.

Details about the pilot will not be decided until the third fiscal quarter this year, Chong said.

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