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Biometric tools designed to get dirty

Harsh lighting, uncontrolled environments, dust, and rain are facts of life for front-line troops as well as First Responders. They need mobile biometric tools as tough they are.

For over 20 years, AMREL has been a leader in developing highly reliable, fully rugged solutions that operate in the most demanding environments. We supply more than multi-modal handhelds for collection, enrollment, and identification; we provide a generation of expertise.

We don’t guess what you need. We find out for sure. 

AMREL exploits every opportunity to get feedback from those serving in the field. For example, we attended the Tactical Network Topology (TNT) field experiments as well as the Biometrics Field Experiments (BFEX) hosted by the Biometrics Task Force (BTF). Sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM), Naval Post-graduate School, and the Concepts & Technologies Branch (CTB), these demonstrations provide critical information that shaped our mobile biometric solution.

In addition to examining warfighter requirements, we also drew upon our extensive contacts within the Public Safety field. AMREL has been supplying rugged mobile computing systems to First Responders for years.  We determined the needs of law enforcement by working closely with dozens of officials.

Speed is safety

One of the most important things that we learned was the challenges created by biometric handhelds processing high-throughput data. Image sensors create huge amounts of data.  To be compatible with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Automatic Biometric Identity System (ABIS), this data is converted to EBTS format. Transmitting these large Biometric files through serial or IP radios is technologically difficult.

In-theater forces discovered that the combination of large data files, no network connectivity, small databases, and slow processors meant that collection and enrollment missions took much longer than necessary.  Sometimes soldiers had to wait 45 minutes or longer to confirm if a new enrollee matched an entry in a terrorist watch list.  If they were capturing biometric data for an entire village, the mission would drag on for hours, robbing the warfighter of two of his greatest assets: speed and mobility.

Designed for high-throughput data

To overcome the dangerous data bottleneck, AMREL designed its biometric handhelds to meet the high- throughput demands of the “Last Tactical Mile.” Transmission rates are maximized by onboard software that integrates all available forms of connectivity. Security is not compromised by this extraordinary degree of interoperability, since the data is end-to-end encrypted according to Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS140-2) standards.

AMREL modified the hardware as well as the software. We knew that the necessary rate of millions of instructions per second (MIPS) is difficult to achieve in a small PDA, the preferred form factor of today’s pack-heavy soldier. Many PDAs are usually ARM-based, which have no or very little capacity for onboard databases.  AMREL leveraged the power of x86 architecture, by designing the DB6-B around the ATOM, an ideal processor for transmitting large amounts of data in a small form factor.

DB6-B: the Power of the Atom

By becoming an early adopter of the ATOM processor, AMREL created a multimodal handheld biometric solution that both soldiers and police would want to use. With an ATOM processor, the DB6-B is small enough to slip into a cargo pants pocket, but has the power to run a full Windows environment.

The DB6-B represents what AMREL does best: integrating mature best-of-class technologies in a rugged platform.  By using by a single camera with multiple Frames Per Second (FPS) capability, the DB6-B not only avoids auto-focus mechanical problems, but also makes dual iris capture a snap.  Its capacitive and electroluminescent fingerprint scanners produce images that meet FBI/PIV resolution standards. The Biometric capabilities are integrated into a solid-state module, which increases durability and enhances miniaturization. The DoD-level Common Access Card (CAC) reader simplifies the validation of identities.

Law Enforcement & DHS

Although, originally developed for use in combat operations, our handhelds work well with other security applications. For example, our NIST-compliant platforms are ideal for Crime Scene Investigators, gang & graffiti control.

New York Police Department (NYPD) became an early adopter of the DA5-B, AMREL’s PDA biometric solution. AMREL used its industry-leading customization capabilities to add connectivity for New York’s wireless data network to the DA5-B. New York’s communication system is specially designed to operate among its famous skyscrapers.

See DA5+ and DB6 biometric solutions here.