General Information

Name: John Edman
Email: john (dot) edman (at) my.wheaton.edu
Office: CoRE 448
Home Institution: Wheaton College (IL)
Project: Experimental Designs for Walk-Through Metal Detectors at Large Stadiums
Mentor: Dr. Christie Nelson
Research Teammate: Vijay Chaudhary

Project Description

There has been a recent increase in the usage of walk-through metal detectors (WTMDs) as 29* of 30 Major League Baseball teams installed them prior to the 2015 Opening Day deadline handed down by the league office. Due to the increased usage of WTMDs, it is important that their operation in a stadium setting is investigated, as the detectors are being used in a different environment than in a manufacturer's laboratory or indoor setting. At large events, thousands of people are arriving in a short time interval; it is important, therefore, that a high throughput is maintained without jeopardizing detection accuracy. There are a number of factors that should be considered (item type, height, speed of entry, etc.) for testing WTMDs in order to understand their effects on detection accuracy. In order to minimize the number of necessary tests, combinatorial experimental design will be utilized.

*One stadium was undergoing renovations allowing them to delay their deadline.

Research Log

Week 1

We arrived at Rutgers on Sunday, May 31 and had our orientation the following day. Throughout the week, we were reading through literature as it pertained to our project and assembling our project proposal presentation with feedback from our mentor, Dr. Christie Nelson. On Thursday, we attended the CCICADA Research Group's weekly update meeting as well as the SAFETY Act project meeting and finalized our project proposal. On Friday, we presented our project proposal and began work on our formal experimental designs.

Week 2

On Monday, we had a lecture on probability and statistics from Dr. Paul Kantor, focusing on things we should keep in mind when proceeding with our project. Throughout the week, we further developed our experimental designs with guidance from Dr. Nelson. We searched for additional literature on our individual topics, so I researched WTMD standards outside of the NILECJ 0601.00 and NIJ 0601.01-03. We began work on the background portion of our report, summarizing the research we have done so far.

Week 3

On Monday and Tuesday, we worked on the development and rationale of our pilot experiments in preparation for later in the week. We modified our test cases as we made determinations about our parameters. On Wednesday, we began working with the WTMDs, familiarizing ourselves with setup and operation procedures. On Thursday, we attended the CCICADA Research Group's weekly update meeting, where we informed the group of our progress up to that point. We later attended the SAFETY Act meeting, where we received input on our experimental designs that we had developed. On Friday, we performed one of our pilot experiments, working in an outdoor setting.

Week 4

Early in the week, we experimented with some WTMDs looking at height/orientation, human gait, and proximity. We attended the CCICADA Research Group's weekly update meeting and SAFETY Act meeting, finalizing our experiments for our field work on Friday. On Friday afternoon, we traveled to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to perform the same experiments that we had earlier in the week at Rutgers. We were working with a brand of WTMD that we had not yet examined, reducing the likelihood of getting machine-specific data.

Week 5

We continued with our gait experiments with WTMDs at Rutgers and worked on data input. We presented a research update at the SAFETY Act meeting and received some suggestions for how to proceed with data analysis and with additional experiments.

Week 6

We made good progress with our gait experiments with one of the WTMDs at Rutgers and continued with our data input. On Thursday, we did video interviews at Rutgers Stadium regarding our experience in the program. We also attended the SAFETY Act meeting, where we and made final preparations for a MetLife visit on Friday and discussed our final presentation for July 17. On Friday, we collected data and did observations at a MetLife Stadium event.

Week 7

We continued with our experiments and looked at the data we had gathered thus far. We prepared our final presentation, which we gave on Friday morning. Despite having a "final presentation," we still have more experiments to complete in the final two weeks.

Week 8

We did a lot of experiments, finally finishing at the end of the week. Next week will be a lot of data entry and analysis.

Week 9

We worked on getting all our experimental data into the computer and presented to the Rutgers University Police Department on Wednesday and at the CCICADA CRG Meeting on Thursday. We have everything we need to start on the paper, which we will work on over the coming weeks.