Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Transportation Planning & Management

First Advisor

Assistant Professor Vi Qi


Today, the United States Port Security is using various nonintrusive (NII) methods of screening technologies to inspect incoming cargos. The United States Ports are growing every day. This cargo must be inspected by U.S. customs officials in the most effective manner to protect our borders. The NII technologies that are currently being employed include radiation detectors, X-ray imaging systems, and Gamma-ray imaging systems. These existing NIl technologies have their own strengths and weakness. Recently, there are newer and more advanced technologies, such as the Pulsed Photonuclear Assessment (PPA) inspection technology, Passport Systems CPS), Muon Radiography (MR), Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP), etc that may help the United States Customs Officials detect shielded nuclear material without delay. This research will conduct discrete-event simulations to compare the capabilities and the costs of different types of NII _ technologies. In addition, it will provide recommendations about the most efficient combinations of NIl technologies that can detect a wide range of contraband, to protect the borders. Literature review and a field study were conducted in order to design the study, and qualitative data from surveys were used to determine important parameters in the simulation process. The accuracy and effectiveness of the different combinations of NIl 1 2 technologies will be compared by queue time, total processing time, and detection rate. To recommend the most effective NIl combinations, three simulation scenarios will be generated. The first case is currently in practice new secondary method of screening. The third case uses a new primary method of screening and an existing secondary method of screening. Each scenario will have a primary method of inspection where all incoming cargo will be checked, and then either 3%, 5%, or 10 % of cargo will proceed to the secondary method of cargo inspection. The results of simulations will be analyzed to make recommendations on the most effective and efficient NIl combinations based on detection rate and time. The results of this research will be helpful for decision making when choosing the right NIl technologies for port cargo inspection.