Emerging X-ray Innovation Trial Project

​​​​​Trial of new x-ray unit

As passenger and cargo volume increase, detecting biosecurity risks at the border is becoming more difficult.

Australia will be trialling a 3D X-ray unit, the Rapiscan Real Time Tomography RTT®110.

The unit is being trialled for 12 months, commencing at Melbourne International Airport.

What biosecurity risk can you see in the x-ray image below?

X-ray image of strawberries, bananas, apples and pears 

X-ray image of strawberries, bananas, apples and pears

Aim of the trial

Our aim is to develop an extensive 3-dimensional image library of targeted risk items. With these we can develop of a series of algorithms to auto-detect biosecurity risk items.

New Zealand is trialling the same Rapiscan unit at Auckland Airport. The x-ray images generated from both the Melbourne and Auckland trials will be combined to create an extensive biosecurity risk image library.

This project is a world first collaboration in biosecurity.

The Emerging X-ray Innovation Trial Project is funded under the $7.5 million Modern, Seamless Border Clearance measure. Auto-detection will streamline the passenger, air cargo and mail pathways into Australia and allow our biosecurity officers to do their work more effectively and efficiently.

Real time tomography

Image of 3D X-ray unit, the Rapiscan Real Time Tomography RTT®110 

Image of 3D X-ray unit, the Rapiscan Real Time Tomography RTT®110

Real time tomography uses 3-dimensional x-rays that produce images in real time as the item passes through the x-ray unit.

It differs from other x-ray technology as the image is taken without the need to rotate an x-ray emitter around the object.


Our industry partners and vendors are assisting with the trials at Melbourne and Auckland, as well as developing the algorithms.

We have invited other Australian and New Zealand government and border agencies and industry participants to take part.

The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force will be helping us to assess the capability of this technology. Opportunities exist for future use at airports, mail centres and cargo depots.

Further information

Email: RTT
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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