More than 100 years ago, scientists invented a Mobile Camera Receiver to take pictures in any place. More than 30 years ago, engineering scientists invented a Mobile Communication Transceiver to make phone calls in any place. Now it is time to invent a Mobile MAte-RIal TranscEiver to explore surface and sub-surface materials in any place.
All these inventions rely on advances in technology in order to gradually progress from electronic components via integrated circuits towards a complete solution. Extending the benefits of today’s static and bulky material detection systems, a Mobile MAteRIal TranscEiver can find numerous novel applications: to autonomously localize the source of a fire or unconscious people within a burning building, to reliably detect cables and artefacts inside a wall, or, more generally, to systematically create material maps, e.g. for searching and classifying objects in arbitrary environments. MARIE’s sensing frequency starts at 250 GHz, which corresponds to the current technological barrier in mobile wireless transceivers, and it may end at about 4 THz, rendering a variety of materials identifiable as a result of molecule absorption lines.
The research challenges of MARIE are fourfold: first, to thoroughly measure, analyze and model the wave propagation for almost unexplored frequencies; second, to compactly realize wireless transceivers over such frequency range for mobile material exploration; third, to dynamically
characterize surface and also sub-surface materials; and fourth, to precisely localize such materials with sub-mm resolution.
In order to achieve these four goals, MARIE is divided into three project pillars: first, Models from measurements (M) aims to derive new models for material characterization and localization from extensive measurement campaigns; second, Chips from technology (C) realizes a novel dynamic transceiver technology in order to provide integrated circuits for mobile material characterization and localization; and third, Systems from concepts (S) investigates crucial signal processing concepts, e.g. adaptive THz beamforming and full duplex transmission, subject to technological and computational constraints so as to design mobile materialsensing systems.
MARIE is structured into three phases, each with a duration of 4 years: in Static Lab (2017-2020), advances in technology are in the foreground while the sensing frequency in the static lab environment stretches to 1.5 THz. Mobile Sensor (2021-2024) addresses energyefficiency to enable mobility with an extended frequency range towards 4 THz. Dynamic Environment (2025-2028) takes into account all remaining challenges, by fusing with additional sensing principles, to ultimately achieve the vision of a Mobile MAteRIal TranscEiver.