Testing, testing. The Defense Department has formed a Test and Evaluation Biometric Working Group to push best practices for biometric testing and evaluation.

DOD's Biometric Fusion Center said the working group is composed of Defense personnel and members of each of the armed services. Its first meeting took place last month in Bridgeport, W.Va.

'We're working hard to provide the DOD warfighter community with reliable, responsive and timely information on biometric technologies,' said Sam Cava, director of the center, in a release. 'To do this, we must work with all of the relevant stakeholders to develop state-of-the-art testing methodologies.'

The mission of the new working group includes:
  • Coordinating test and evaluation activities

  • Aligning processes and procedures

  • Sharing results and lessons learned across DOD.

Research winners. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has chosen 11 research projects to fund under its Self-Regenerative Systems program.

The 18-month effort seeks technologies that help military systems learn and regenerate themselves. The projects are intended to develop technologies for military computer systems that can hold up under errors or attacks.

Each of the projects will receive $815,000 to $1.3 million.

'SRS technology will make possible advanced military systems that remain potent for extended deployment periods even in the face of sophisticated and sustained attack,' DARPA said in a statement.

The program will focus on four technology areas:
  • Biologically inspired diversity'systems that generate many variants of components that perform the same functions but with different vulnerabilities, so an attack can only damage a small part of the entire system. Projects in this area are being conducted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Global InfoTek Inc. of Reston, Va.

  • Cognitive immunity and regeneration'techniques that recognize damage from an attack and automatically recover operational capability, even under continual attacks. Three of the four projects come from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge; the fourth is from Honeywell Labs of Minneapolis.

  • Granular, scalable redundancy'systems to maintain multiple copies of selected components to swap in case of damage. The program will develop new techniques for coordinating high-performance military systems. Projects were chosen from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

  • Reasoning about insider threats'technology to estimate the probability of a malicious military operator. Two projects were funded from the MIT lab and Telcordia Technologies of Morristown, N.J.

GIG-BE deals. The Defense Information Systems Agency has added three vendors to the fiber-optic portion of the $900 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program.
The three multiple-year contracts are worth $55 million for implementation and $19 million for lifecycle support. DISA chose the winners from a field of 10 companies.

As with the earlier contracts, DISA declined to name the winning vendors, citing security concerns.

Through GIG-BE, DISA is creating a Synchronous Optical Network with throughput of 10 Gbps for Defense Department users at 90 sites worldwide.

Last September, DISA awarded two contracts for GIG-BE fiber-optic services.

The vendors will establish service delivery points and oversee network management, information and physical security, and commercial transport leases.


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