MIL-HDBK-501, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HANDBOOK: PORTABLE INFORMATION CARRIER (15 APR 1997)
MIL-HDBK-501, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HANDBOOK: PORTABLE INFORMATION CARRIER (15 APR 1997)., . This handbook is written for the Department of Defense (DoD) through
the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I). It was
designed to build consensus on DoD standard guidance for a multi-technology smart card. This document was
composed through a standards working group which was open to all DoD components and agencies and
reformatted as a military handbook. The goal of this handbook is to establish a common DoD vision for the
integration and implementation of smart card technology for DoD. This handbook is for guidance only. This
handbook cannot be cited as a requirement. If it is, the contractor does not have to comply.
The guidance provides the common elements of a multi-technology, multi-application smart card. The
identification of these common elements form a baseline for use of a cross-service, multi-application integrated
circuit card across all functional areas of DoD having to deal with personal information transferral. The program
relationships and interdependencies will be the responsibility of DoD components that will implement this
guidance. The intent is to assist in the planning and initiation of a single standard for smart card usage across
DoD to prevent separate and incompatible implementation of smart card technologies.
The multi-technology aspect of the Portable Information Carrier (PIC) guidance provides an interface to existing
applications using a variety of reader equipment. It also provides for selection of the most cost-effective reader
technique for new applications, while allowing a single card to interface with multiple applications using different
reader equipment. The uniqueness of the PIC is the ability to update and completely erase information contained
on the chip of the card, unlike the use of barcodes, embossing, and magnetic stripes.