Sovereign capability for Australian Automated Biometric Information System

The Australian Standard Automated Biometric Information System (AS-ABIS) was a technical proof-of-concept for Australia’s Defence Intelligence Agency. The system trialed processing and matching biometric information in Australia, rather than sending it to the US for bulk processing.

The Australian Department of Defence had a requirement to match field-collected biometric data with known watch lists and coalition datasets. Sending this information across coalition links to the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Homeland security would be a time consuming and costly activity. To address this, the Defence Intelligence Agency and Defence CIOG sought a solution that would allow this data to be processed within Australia. 

Insitec, partnering with Northrop Grumman, was selected to be the system integrator for the AS-ABIS PoC. Insitec worked closely with Northrop Grumman to functionally replicate the systems in use by the US Department of Defense and US Homeland Security into the Australian Defence environment.

Insitec took on the challenge of functionally replicating the US systems into the Australian environment. To do this, Insitec designed the system layout and integration into Defence data centres and networks. We covered all layers of the solution including hardware, operating system, database and application. 

The solution was built and tested at Insitec’s secure facility Integration into Defence involved support for a variety of technology sets, including blade servers and SAN storage, VMware virtualisation, Oracle Database and Red Hat Linux.

During the build of AS-ABIS, Insitec redesigned the middleware layer to accommodate differences in standards between the US systems and those used by the Australian Department of Defence.

Over the course of the proof-of-concept period, Insitec provided all system support and sustainment. The system successfully performed all tests and proof of concept activities without incident or failure. Insitec also ensured the system was able met security accreditation requirements for Australian Defence integration.

Testing performed on the AS-ABIS PoC showed that dataset processing on collected data could be performed many times faster locally in Australia, compared with bulk loading information into the US systems. The project was recognised as an outstanding technical success demonstrating the potential for the sovereign approach to achieve significant efficiencies.