6 October 1994 Operational analysis for the drug detection problem
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Abstract
New techniques and sensors to identify the molecular, chemical, or elemental structures unique to drugs are being developed under several national programs. However, the challenge faced by U.S. drug enforcement and Customs officials goes far beyond the simple technical capability to detect an illegal drug. Entry points into the U.S. include ports, border crossings, and airports where cargo ships, vehicles, and aircraft move huge volumes of freight. Current technology and personnel are able to physically inspect only a small fraction of the entering cargo containers. The complexities of how to best utilize new technology to aid the detection process and yet not adversely affect the processing of vehicles and time-sensitive cargo is the challenge faced by these officials. This paper describes an ARPA sponsored initiative to develop a simple, yet useful, method for examining the operational consequences of utilizing various procedures and technologies in combination to achieve an `acceptable' level of detection probability. Since Customs entry points into the U.S. vary from huge seaports to a one lane highway checkpoint between the U.S. and Canadian or Mexico border, no one system can possibly be right for all points. This approach can examine alternative concepts for using different techniques/systems for different types of entry points. Operational measures reported include the average time to process vehicles and containers, the average and maximum numbers in the system at any time, and the utilization of inspection teams. The method is implemented via a PC-based simulation written in GPSS-PC language. Input to the simulation model is (1) the individual detection probabilities and false positive rates for each detection technology or procedure, (2) the inspection time for each procedure, (3) the system configuration, and (4) the physical distance between inspection stations. The model offers on- line graphics to examine effects as the model runs.
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Roger L. Hoopengardner, Michael C. Smith, "Operational analysis for the drug detection problem", Proc. SPIE 2276, Cargo Inspection Technologies, (6 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.189166; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.189166
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