Biometric Technology Rally

Biometric Technology Rally

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will host a series of Biometric Technology Rallies to enhance industry innovation and advance technologies that support DHS and Homeland Security Enterprise operations. These rallies bring together subject matter experts, technology vendors and volunteers to test new and emerging biometric technology systems. The third event in the series will be held in Fall 2020 at the Maryland Test Facility (MdTF) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

About the Rallies

Maryland Test FacilityPrevious test results demonstrate that while some biometric technologies are improving, many tested technologies fall short in operational settings. Through S&T’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center, the rallies challenge industry to develop biometric systems to meet the requirements of high-throughput operations and employ controlled testing of candidate technologies in relevant scenarios.

The rallies are held at the Maryland Test Facility (MdTF). The MdTF is designed for large scale volunteer testing. For more information, visit the MdTF rally website.

Four faces wearing a face mask.2020 RALLY DETAILS AND CHANGES: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DHS priorities for the 2020 Rally focused on evaluating the ability of systems to reliably collect and/or match images of individuals, including individuals wearing face masks. The intent is to improve the ability to recognize people without requiring travelers to remove protective equipment, reducing risk for both the public and frontline DHS personnel.

To learn about the 2020 Biometric Technology Rally application process and requirements, please watch the announcement video below:  

The 2020 Biometric Technology Rally webinar video: DHS Science and Technology. March 2020. Arun Vemury. Biometric and Identity Technology Center, Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate. Jake Hasselgren, John Howard and Yevgeniy Sirotin. The Maryland Test Facility. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology seal and logo. Maryland Test Facility logo.


For results from the 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, visit the MdTF Biometric Technology 2020 Rally Results website.

Results from the second Biometric Technology Rally, held in May 2019 were released via acquisition systems and matching systems webinars shortly after the event.

 Watch the video below for the Matching Systems results. 

Watch the video below for the Acquisition System results.

For a visual breakdown of this data, please visit the MdTF rally results web page. Individuals interested in contacting one or more rally participants should send an e-mail to with a detailed description of their request.

Timeline/Submission Info

Industry with demonstrated expertise in biometrics as well as building intuitive and easy-to-use systems may participate in the Biometric Technology Rallies. Participants will need to submit an information packet describing the system, including a white paper and a video of the system in action. Successful submissions must demonstrate integrated biometric systems capable of meeting or exceeding rally performance metrics. The timeline of events for the 2020 Biometric Technology Rally is as follows:

  • April 30: Submission deadline
  • August 26: Participants notified of conditional acceptance
  • September 28: Phase 1 system installation
  • September 30: Data collection at MdTF
  • October 16: Phase 1 system de-installation

Additional Info

Check the MdTF rally website for the most up-to-date information about upcoming events, or to sign-up to be included in communication about future rallies.



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