R&D projects

True concept of the company, the R&D and prototyping take a great place into the MC2-Technologies work. The company is engaged into several French and European projects as follows:

DRAC2 :Digital RAdiometric Correlation Camera

 

This project is supported by the French ministry of Defence (DGA) in the frame of a RAPID program. The main aim of this project is to develop a new generation of passive imaging system working at millimeter wave frequencies. The technology is based on an innovative architecture of digital correlation receiver.

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V-SMMART NANO : Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope Analytical and Research Tool for Nanotechnology

 

V-SMMART NANO (Twitter: @vsmmartnano) is a multinational project funded by the European Commission under the FP7 NMP Programme, which aims to develop a Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope (VSMM) for non-destructive 3D nanoscale structural characterisation of samples.

The project V-SmmartNano  receives funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 280516.

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E2CoGaN :Energy Efficient Converters Using GaN Power Devices

 

E2COGaN will target the demonstration of GaN-on-Si as a disruptive high voltage (HV) technology and High Electron Mobility Transistors through the whole value chain up to demonstrators with high industrial, societal and environmental relevance. Aims are higher efficiency, higher switching frequency, smaller footprint and weight and competitive cost on system level with respect to Si or SiC.

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MILLIPRISM : Millimeter wave passive radiometric imaging system

 

The goal of the consortium, involving an academic research laboratory and a company, is to develop a small, lightweight and low-cost passive millimeter wave camera. This kind of cameras is a solution for the detection of hidden objects under cloth, fabrics, paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, plaster and bricks. This new technology will be essential for protecting the citizens and the infrastructures. A well-known example concerns airports. For this kind of applications the passive aspect of the proposed camera is an advantage compared to more standard approaches in test in airports: it will be more easily acceptable by the population (no radiations are emitted by the camera).

The current technology is based on low noise amplification before detection at 90 GHz. These amplifiers have several drawbacks and the camera would become smaller, lighter and less expensive if a direct detection scheme could be used (no millimetre wave amplification). This is the goal of the PRISM project and it will require extremely sensitive detectors.

 

Two types of detector diodes will be studied:

– The first ones are zero-bias thermoionic diodes. They are based on a graded III-V semiconductor heterojunction. The potential profile can be easily varied thanks to a variation of thickness and composition by Molecular Beam Epitaxy. These compositions will be optimized in order to maximize the sensitivity and minimize the noise floor of the diode at room temperature and also at cryogenic temperature. Working at low temperature is an efficient way to improve the sensitivity of the diode and it is easily possible thanks to the fact that detectors dissipate almost no DC power. For all that, original cryocoolers could be used.

 

– The second studied diode will be based on tunnelling effect (backward diodes). These diodes based on InAs nanowires small bandgap pn junctions will be processed and analyses following the technological modifications. The optimization will be focused to maximize the sensitivity and at the same time minimize the input capacitance for a small video resistance.

 

In any case, the impedance matching of the detector is critical and must be as large as possible in bandwidth in order to increase the sensitivity of the detector. It will be studied for the two types of diodes. Increasing the frequency above 90 GHz will studied because it allows to increase the bandwidth and also to reduce the size of the optics of the camera. The low noise low frequency amplifier that follows the detector is also a critical part of the system. It will be specially studied and optimized. One solution to reduce the effect of the noise of this amplifier is to add a modulation of the signal and a lock-in detection. A new modulation scheme is proposed in order to reduce the noise to a value close to the intrinsic noise of the detector.

PIXEL :

 

MC2-Technologies develops and industrializes microwave scanners solutions for security applications (fight against crime and terrorism). This passive (emission-free) technology is based on a millimeter frequency range variation of radiation of the human body and hidden objects. As part of the PIXEL project, partners intend to improve this technology by enabling real-time display of images without affecting resolution and sensitivity, thus distinguishing themselves from competing solutions. To achieve these goals, mechanical scanning of the existing system will be replaced by a simultaneous reading of the signals received by an antenna array. This instantaneous reading will be obtained by the development of a passive THz multiplexer with time reversal, resulting from the recent work of XLIM.
This project will offer the possibility of producing microwave scanners without equivalent in terms of footprint, performance and speed of execution. To meet these requirements, the technical solution chosen for this project is based on an Synthesis Aperture for Interferometric Radiometer Architecture (SAIR) working in the millimeter wave range associated with the Passive Time Reversal technique (PTR). The latter was originally developed for acoustic applications in order to reduce the number of sensors. In the same vein, the XLIM laboratory of Limoges has transferred the approach of this technique to the development of a MIMO Radar always with the aim of reducing the number of sensors. The main limitation of a SAIR approach is the number of microwave sensors and associated digital acquisition circuits. The use of a time-reversing multiplexer would reduce the number of acquisition circuits by 10 to 25, without reducing the number of antennas (no degradation in resolution and field of view). The use of a time-reversing multiplexer would reduce the number of acquisition circuits by 10 to 25, without reducing the number of antennas (no degradation in resolution and field of view).
The SAIR + PTR association is, to our knowledge, a major innovation as no research on this has been published yet. The success of this combination will considerably reduce the complexity of the entire interferometric reception chain by reducing the numbers of mixers, depressors, low noise amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters and FPGA. This will result in a drastic reduction in cost, consumed DC power and overall footprint, while achieving state-of-the-art performance.
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SPIDER : Synthetic aPerture Interferometric raDiometer for sEcurity in cRitical infraStructure

 

Based on a technology studied in the FP7 project EFFISEC (Grant #217991) that finished in January 2014, the French company MC2 aims at developing an innovation system that will transform the protection of EU infrastructures into more freely flowing processes with faster scanning, adapted ethics-respecting imaging, passive detection without harmful waves and stand-off scanning, with more transparent equipment. To ensure this development and the rapid growth of the business in order to reach worldwide markets, the company is currently signing an important fund raise with a close financial partner. It will still remain an independent SME after this fund raise. In the SPIDERS project, MC2 will build from its experience in the field of security, from its personal and equipment resources and its existing and growing commercial network a new innovative solution to meet a transforming market and to answer to the industrial and scientific objectives for security applications. Thanks to the know-how acquired within the development of Millicam90 in FP7 EFFISEC, MC2 has all the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to achieve a new ambitious objective: to develop an innovative microwave passive imaging system to detect in real time and in stand-off mode (moving environment) the hidden objects and materials worn by individuals at sensitive checkpoints of critical infrastructures. This solution consists in using synthetic aperture interferometric radiometer with possible integration of time reversal technology. It will eliminate the ethical issue of naked people visualization thanks to the combination of classic camera picture with suspect body zone and no need in data transmission.

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