OAK RIDGE, Tenn (WATE) – A team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeking paid volunteers to participate in a face and whole body identification study that supports new developments in public safety missions, such as the counter-terrorism and border security.
Advertisements recruiting volunteers for the September appointments are posted on social media platforms with a link to a registration page on the BRIAR website.
BRIAR, an acronym for Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, is a program that began in November 2021 with the aim of “developing algorithm-based software systems capable of performing whole-body biometric identification at long range and at from elevated platforms,” while in harsh conditions, according to information on the Internet Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) website.
An example given is the identification or recognition of individuals from watchtowers or unmanned aerial vehicles using information gathered through whole-body “biometric signatures”, such as the manner of walking of a person or their body shape, as well as other biometric information.
Volunteers will be paid with gift cards worth up to $150. In addition to the general public, ORNL employees can participate on their own time.
Participation requires having photos and videos taken by multiple camera systems while performing common daily activities such as standing or walking. The images collected will be used to test the BRIAR program.
“National security technologies must operate accurately and reliably under conditions that are extremely difficult for existing biometric technologies,” said program director Dr. Lars Ericson. “I am confident that our excellent team of research organizations, scientists and engineers will advance research and build technologies that are significantly ahead of the current state of the art.”
The tests will take up to 4 hours. Once registered, a card will be provided at an arrival point, where transportation will be provided to the testing location, according to the information provided.
A video shared on YouTube by the Office of the Director of National Security shows the atmospheric problems the researchers are working to overcome and what they hope to accomplish with the research.
In March, an IARPA press release indicates that BRIAR research contracts were awarded to 7 teams from Michigan State University, University of Houston, University of Southern California and others. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the test and evaluation partners listed for the BRIAR program.
The researchers also hope BRIAR’s findings will help develop a better re-identification system – known as ReID – for tracking the same person across a network of cameras. The use of this type of system is mainly for public safety needs, according to the video.
Research results are intended to support the protection of critical infrastructure and transportation facilities, as well as the protection of military forces.
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