A team from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) developed the Air Cargo Scanner which has taken the traditional screening method for bulk cargo to another level. The process uses high-energy neutrons combined with x-rays to identify both the shape and makeup of materials in air cargo containers.
Traditional high energy x-ray technology is able to identify inorganic materials and shapes. With the Air Cargo Scanner process, the developed software allows the detection of organic materials through the colourised identification of compounds that compose objects. The scanner is accurate, rapid and done in real time.
The potential for further applications derived from this technology is exciting.
For a clear and comprehensive review, the ABC Catalyst programme featured a segment on the Air Cargo Scanner (30 August 2012) http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3576774.htm