R&D is the very core of MC2 Technologies’ activity. The company is involved in several French and European projects as follows:
In the last few years, security threats on critical infrastructures and soft targets have evolved a lot in Europe; hence a growing need for efficient detection systems which can identify potentially harmful hidden objects. Rising new technologies will soon make endless queues and bulky scanners for security checks outdated.
As the number of transportation hubs and sensitive locations for common security (airports, power plants, prisons, administrations) increase, passive scanning system – not emitting any radiation – represent the most promising opportunity. These scanning systems must be able to offer an accurate hidden objects detection whilst respecting ethical issues such as the display of human bodies. Other technical challenges must be met to integrate such a detection solution into the everyday life: 3D analysis, real-time detection and spatial resolution.
The SPIDERS project that was built from the results of a recent FP7 project consists in developing the latest passive millimeter wave technology with a synthetic aperture interferometric radiometer.
The French company MC2 Technologies – specialized in radiometric sensors and microwave products and services – is working to develop its business in the rising markets of PMMW technology for security applications and tackle all the stated technical and business challenges to create a real-time 3D people scanning system and detection of hidden objects and materials.
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 systems working at millimeter wave frequencies. The technology is based on an innovative architecture of digital correlation receivers.
MC2 Technologies develops and industrializes microwave scanner 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 a 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 a 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 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.