News and events - Tampere University of Technology

Intelligent metal detection portals bring relief to airports and soccer games

MSc (Tech) Jarmo Makkonen sees our future metal detection portals as intelligent devices that are able to identify any illicit items accurately and swiftly. What’s more, the inspected person does not have to take off any metal items before entering a security check.

For a long time, air travellers have had to prepare for long safety inspection lines at airports. The strict safety requirements lead to numerous false alarms and therefore also tedious and time-consuming additional inspections. The increased threat of terrorist attacks has aroused the need to deploy security check technology in trains, at nightclubs and at sport events, for example. The use of security check procedures that are familiar to many at airports may cause bottlenecks, however. In his dissertation, Jarmo Makkonen proposes a solution that involves new kind of security check technology.

The new technology could ease the backlog at airports and also enable large-scale security checks in other required contexts.

“The security inspections currently performed at airports are too arduous and slow to be used at major soccer games, for example, as they involve tens of thousands of people arriving at the stadium within a period of 30 minutes. What we need is more intelligent systems to curb bottlenecks without compromising safety,” Jarmo Makkonen explains.

In his research, Makkonen applies modern pattern recognition and machine learning methods to the electromagnetic rules of law. According to Makkonen, this particular research topic is highly challenging as the classification of metal items into dangerous and harmless – not to mention more detailed categorization – is problematic due to the enormous number of different items alone.

“New technologies help us achieve great accuracy in this pursuit, however. This method could revolutionize security inspections in the future.”

Public defence of a doctoral dissertation on Friday, 15 January

MSc (Tech) Jarmo Makkonen’s doctoral dissertation in the field of signal processing entitled ‘Classification of Metallic Targets Using a Walk-Through Metal Detection Portal’ will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering of Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in room TB109 in the Tietotalo building (address: Korkeakoulunkatu 1, Tampere, Finland) at 12 noon on Friday, 15 January 2016. The opponents will be Professor Bill Lionheart (University of Manchester, UK) and Professor Keijo Nikoskinen (Aalto University, Espoo). Professor Ari Visa from the Department of Signal Processing at TUT will act as Chairman.

Jarmo Makkonen (36) completed his dissertation in the Multimedia and Data Mining Group at the Department of Signal Processing at TUT. He works at Rapiscan Systems in Espoo.

Further information: Jarmo Makkonen, tel. +358 (0) 50 375 1076,

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News updated by: Mika Puonti
Keywords: science and research, metal detection, walk-through metal detection portal