Department of Defense Awards Multimodal Biometric Contract to Ultra-Scan

Identity management solutions company lands contract for biometric system


In an effort to develop an advanced multimodal biometric recognition system for unsurpassed accurate personnel identification, the Department of Defense (DoD), through the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, has awarded Ultra-Scan Corporation a highly competitive Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase II contract. Ultra-Scan, an identity management solutions provider, will partner with industry leaders Viisage, Panasonic and the University at Buffalo's Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) to design a system that will combine multiple biometric technologies to improve positive identification while reducing crossover error rates, or misidentification.

The partnership will seamlessly blend the biometric technology of Viisage's FaceTOOLS SDK, Panasonic and CUBS' with Ultra-Scan's patented Livescan Ultrasonic Identification System (LUIS) technology to create an Automatic Multimodal Biometric Identification System, or AMBIS. LUIS is widely recognized as the most accurate method for personal fingerprint identification and identity management services. The technology uses high frequency sound waves to "see through" dirt, newsprint, hand lotions and other common finger contaminants, guaranteeing unsurpassed accuracy, reliability and ease of use.

The attacks of September 11 highlighted the need to improve the capability for accurate personal identification in a large scale, high volume environment, and the DoD initiated a number of research activities focused on advancing the nation's ability to quickly and correctly identify potential security threats. As a result, multimodal biometric-based recognition emerged as one of the most promising technologies to achieve high confidence in positively identifying individuals without creating throughput delays caused by less accurate and inferior systems.

The goal of the STTR Phase II contract is to design effective data fusion techniques to precisely identify individuals based upon multiple physical characteristics (biometrics). By combining multiple biometric measurements, such as a person's fingerprint, iris pattern, facial features and signature, additional improvements in identification system accuracy and processing speed are possible. This project builds upon an ongoing project awarded to Ultra-Scan from the Army Research Office to develop a biometric identification system that is far more accurate than any existing system today.

The contract was awarded to Ultra-Scan after the successful completion of a Phase I study, where the initiative was to create an optimal method of combining multiple biometric technologies to identify individuals in large-scale identity management programs. For Phase I, Ultra-Scan delivered technology that combined fingerprint, face recognition, iris recognition, and signature analysis to increase accuracy over what is attainable when any of the technologies is used individually. As a result of the superior performance on Phase I, Ultra-Scan was the only company awarded the Phase II contract, with the goal to create an Automatic Multimodal Biometric Identification System suitable for large-scale, high-traffic identification points, such as airports and border crossings.

"Until the completion of the research in Phase I, little scientific data existed to validate the ability to fuse multiple biometric technologies to create a more accurate identification system," said Dr. John K. Schneider, president and founder of Ultra-Scan. "Through Ultra-Scan's initiatives under the STTR program, we have been able to not only substantiate our preliminary results, but devise a truly optimal approach when combining multiple biometrics to ensure the maximum identification performance possible."

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