Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Test Objects for the Accurate and Reproducible Evaluation of the Threat Detection Performance of Walk-Through Metal Detectors

Published

Author(s)

John Ely, Dwight D. Barry

Abstract

Walk-through metal detectors (WTMDs) are the mainstay for screening people for the presence of metal threat and/or contraband objects at security checkpoints. Although nonmetallic threats are a concern, most threats encountered in practice are metal or comprise metal components. To ensure that a WTMD will detect a given threat requires testing for that threat. However, the variety of geometries and construction of metal threats that a WTMD is expected to detect is immense, ranging from handguns to disposable razor blades and constructed of ferromagnetic and/or nonferromagnetic metals. It is unrealistic to test for all of these potential threat items. Instead, the WTMD is tested using test objects that represent classes of threats. These representative test objects must be designed so that the operator of the WTMD has confidence that the WTMD will detect the actual threat objects. The purpose of this paper is to examine the usefulness of currently-used WTMD test objects to accurately and reproducibly provide an indication of WTMD detection performance and to suggest new designs as appropriate.
Citation
ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation
Volume
49
Issue
5

Keywords

baseline performance, detectability, documentary standard, exemplars, test objects, threat objects, walk-through metal detector, WTMD

Citation

Ely, J. and Barry, D. (2020), Test Objects for the Accurate and Reproducible Evaluation of the Threat Detection Performance of Walk-Through Metal Detectors, ASTM Journal of Testing and Evaluation, [online], https://doi.org/10.1520/JTE20190876 (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created April 3, 2020, Updated October 14, 2022