Contractors are looking to speed up biometric testing processes and make more sales to government agencies, according to a Washington Post Capital Business report. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are both taking steps toward these measures.
A recent contract win for Northrop Grumman furthers the idea that contractors are looking to progress in biometrics offerings and sales. The contract win, with partner IntegenX, was to further develop and supply human DNA identification systems to the Army.
Northrop Grumman is aiming to decrease time spent waiting for results and introduce, “military-grade electronics to bring rapid DNA processing to the field,” said Alan Leckenby on the win. Leckenby is vice president of identity and business solutions for Northrop Grumman information systems.
“Numerous local, state and national … security agencies use DNA-based human identification to assist in decision-making,“ said Leckenby according to Capital Business. Lockheed Martin has seen the needs of agencies as well with an increased focus on rapid DNA testing.
Lockheed Martin has been partnering with Zygem Microlab for the past four years in efforts to develop instruments for DNA testing, according to the report. The small plastic chips the two have been working on use microfluidic chemical processing for more inexpensive DNA testing.
John Mears, director of biometrics and identity management solutions at the company's information systems and global services civil business unit, who has addressed biometrics misconceptions in the past, suggests that the testing process typically uses six pieces of equipment and takes up to 10 hours to be complete, according to the report.
The current goal is to reduce the process to about an hour and to be completed without the need of trained laboratory technicians. Eventually, the process could include identifying family relationships for immigrant petitions, said Mears in the report.
Mears sees potential buyers in the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the military. Similarly, Leckenby sees great opportunity as the cost of implementing such products goes down.