The MNHN's X-ray Tomography Imaging Platform of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle


The main objective of the AST-RX platform is to allow the microtomography scanning of natural sciences specimens with the aim of studying and preserving MNHN collections, as well as analyzing ancient materials.

The X-rays tomography is a non-destructive technique to visualize 3D inner structures. The technique relies on the collection of several thousands of radiographies of an object under a rotation over 360°. The object is described by a stack of thin slices to create a 3D volume. These virtual sections are greyscale images reflecting the densities of the materials.

The equipment’s technical capabilities allow the tomographic analysis of specimens of varying sizes (from millimeters to dozens of centimeters) and of different densities allowing a wide range of applications.


The “Scientific Access to the X-Ray Tomography” platform (AST-RX in French), is attached to the UAR CNRS/MNHN 2700 2AD « Acquisition et Analyses de Données pour l’Histoire naturelle » (Acquisition and Analyses for Data in Natural History). This platform has two scientific coordinators, Sandrine LADEVEZE and Helder GOMES RODRIGUES, a technical manager and principal engineer Marta BELLATO, and an image analysis and training engineer Patricia WILS.

The platform includes two computed tomographs (CT-scan equipment).

The « v | tome | x L 240-180 » model from Baker Hughes Waygate Technologies, known as OB-LIX, having a large cabin and the following technical characteristics: two interchangeable tubes, 240 kV / 320 W microfocus tube and 180 kV / 15 W nanofocus tube; 400×400 mm detector with a 2024×2024 pixel matrix (pitch 200 μm).

The « EasyTom S 150 » model from RX Solutions, known as ID-FIX, having smaller cabin-dimensions and the following technical characteristics: a 150 kV / 75 W microfocus tube; 250×320 mm detector with a 2024×2536 pixel matrix (pitch 124 μm).

The Tomography Imaging Platform is located in building 140, 1 allée de l'orangerie Campus Buffon, 43 rue Buffon 75005 Paris.

More information are available at the UAR 2700 CNRS/MNHN website:

Diffusion and publication

Publications resulting from work done within the platform must mention the UAR 2700 in the acknowledgments under the terms: « AST-RX, plateau d'Accès Scientifique à la Tomographie à Rayons X du MNHN, UAR 2700 2AD CNRS-MNHN, Paris ».

An exhaustive list of the publications relying on data acquired on the platform must be send by the project manager to the AST-RX team (ast-rx [at]