In our 10th annual Simulator Buyers Guide, we feature simulator tools, devices and software from 10 prominent companies that aid GNSS receiver manufacturers in product design.
SPIRENT FEDERAL SYSTEMS
GSS9000, SimMNSA, CRPA test system, anechoic chamber testing, mid-range testing
Spirent Federal Systems provides PNT/GNSS test equipment that covers all applications, including research and development, integration/ verification, and production testing.
GSS9000. The GSS9000 Series Multi-Frequency, Multi-GNSS RF Constellation Simulator is Spirent’s most comprehensive simulation solution. It can simulate signals from all GNSS and regional navigation systems and support restricted/classified signals and Alt RF and non-GNSS sensors. Users can evaluate the resilience of navigation systems to interference and spoofing attacks and have the flexibility to reconfigure constellations, channels, and frequencies between test runs or test cases. In 2021, the GSS9000 will undergo further significant advancements, including the option for an enhanced update rate, enabling even higher dynamic simulations with more accuracy and fidelity.
SimMNSA. Spirent Federal has the first fully-approved MNSA M-code simulator. Authorized users of the GSS9000 series of simulators will be able to utilize the advanced capabilities of SimMNSA to create more robust solutions for their customers. SimMNSA has been granted security approval by the Global Positioning System Directorate.
CRPA Test System. Spirent’s Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) Test System generates both GNSS and interference signals. Users can control multiple antenna elements. Null-steering and space/ time adaptive CRPA testing are both supported by this comprehensive approach.
Anechoic Chamber Testing. Spirent’s GSS9790 Multi-Output, Multi-GNSS RF Constellation Wave-Front Simulator System is a development of the GSS9000. The GSS9790 provides the core element for GNSS applications that require a test system that can be used in both conducted (lab) and radiated (chamber) conditions.
Mid-Range Solutions. Spirent also offers solutions that cater to intermediate GPS/GNSS testing needs. The GSS7000 multi-constellation simulator provides an easy-to-use solution for GNSS testing that can grow with users’ requirements. The GSS6450 RF record and playback system enables repeated replay of a real-world GNSS/GPS test in the lab.
Wavefront simulation solutions
CAST-CRPA. The CAST-CRPA Simulation System produces a coherent wavefront of GPS RF signals to provide repeatable testing in the laboratory environment or anechoic chamber. The CAST CRPA system is configurable for any number of coherent outputs that users want.
With an intercard carrier-phase error of less than 1 millimeter, the CAST-CRPA Simulation System is extremely accurate.
The system generates a wavefront of GPS signals when its GPS RF generator cards are operated in a ganged configuration. Each generator card provides a set of GPS satellites coherent with the overall configuration. Several RF generator cards may be utilized together, ensuring phase coherence among the signal generator cards in each bank. The CRPA antenna, the antenna electronics and the GPS receiver can be tested as a unit with or without radiating signals.
- Generates single coherent wavefront of GPS signals
- 6-degrees-of-freedom motion generation capability
- Complete space vehicle constellation editing
- Post-mission processing
- Differential/relative navigation
- Antenna pattern modeling
- Waypoint navigation
- RAIM events
- Multipath modeling
- Spoofer simulation
- Satellite clock errors
- External trajectory input
- External ephemeris and almanac
- Several iono and tropo models
- Modifiable navigation message
- Modeled selective availability
- Time-tagged satellite events
- Directional jamming
Advanced simulators for both defense and OEM
Orolia advanced GNSS simulators offer a wide breadth and depth of simulation tools to test mission-critical positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) applications and scenarios. They are feature-rich and easy to use, providing a way to harden GPS/GNSS-based systems without the limitations of live-sky testing.
Skydel — Advanced Software-Defined Simulators
Skydel Simulation Engine. This flexible, high-performance simulator transmits GNSS digital signals in real time to many kinds of software-defined radios. Skydel uses graphics processing units (GPUs) to compute the digital GNSS signals of all simulated satellites, scaling from simple to complex use cases. Skydel simulates civil signals from global and regional navigation satellite systems, many kinds of GNSS receiver trajectories with high dynamics, and advanced jamming and spoofing. All Skydel models offer these features:
- Easy configuration with intuitive UI and automation
- Support for global constellations and frequencies
- Support for jamming, spoofing and repeating, including jamming waveforms
- Comprehensive API (Python, C#, C++, LabVIEW)
- Advanced signal customization and scenario creation
- Ability to integrate interference with no additional hardware
- 1000-Hz simulation iteration rate
- IQ file generation and playback
- Ability to record and export user interactions as Python script
GSG-8. This software-defined system GSG8 is a globally available hardware platform for aerospace and critical infrastructure applications. It will support future EU encrypted signals. The rack-mounted unit has the option of one to four RF outputs and is configurable.
BroadSim. Designed for military NAVWAR applications, the BroadSim software-defined simulator supports encrypted military codes (Y-code, M-AES and M-MNSA) and provides documentation and procedures for classified operations. BroadSim has two GPUs and four RF outputs. It runs on a custom Linux operating system, with RMF STIG support coming soon.
Skydel Anechoic. This simulator system for radiated over-the-air testing is designed for testing CRPA/multi-element antennas, antenna electronics and entire PNT systems in an anechoic chamber.
Skydel Wavefront. This GNSS simulator system for conducted wavefront testing is designed to test the jamming/spoofing resiliency of CRPA and multi-element antenna electronic systems, and for applications with high dynamics.
GSG 5/6 Scenario-Based Simulators. The GSG 5/6 enable testing of smart applications such as drones, the internet of things, connected cars and cellular. They provide a comprehensive set of pre-defined scenarios and the ability to create scenarios. They simulate all constellations and frequencies as well as movements and trajectories anywhere on or above Earth.
Application packages are available for real-time kinematic, eCall, high-velocity, jamming and sensors.
Labsat 3 wideband and satgen software
LabSat 3 Wideband. The LabSat 3 Wideband is a compact yet powerful multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS testing solution. The easy-to-use, one-touch record-and-replay function provides an efficient way to test and develop GNSS-based technology without the cost and limitations of live-sky signals.
It is lightweight and portable and makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues by sharing scenario files over the internet — making it a suitable testing partner for remote working. Additionally, the removeable solid-state drive (an SSD of up to 7 terabytes) and a two-hour runtime provided by an internal battery is ready for field testing in any environment.
LabSat 3 Wideband can record and replay up to three different channels at 56-MHz bandwidth across all major constellations and signals, including:
- GPS: L1/L2/L5
- Galileo: E1/E1a/E5a/E5b/E6
- GLONASS: L1/L2/L3
- BeiDou: B1/B2/B3
- NavIC: L5/S-band
- QZSS: L1/L2/L5
- L-band correction services including SBAS
- 2x CAN and 4x digital input channels tightly synchronized with GNSS data
- Future signal launches are also supported, including L2C, L5 and L1C
SatGen Simulation Software. SatGen software allows users to quickly create bespoke, accurate scenarios with their own time, location and trajectory that can be replayed via a LabSat GNSS simulator.
The latest version of SatGen can be used to create a single scenario containing all the upper and lower L-band signals for GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou and NavIC.
High-end GNSS simulation solutions for R&D, integration and product testing
Constellator. Syntony’s GNSS simulator Constellator supports all constellation signals available and provides a high level of service in different ranges. It covers, in a single unit, a wide spectrum of use cases from entry-level with L1C/A up to very demanding configurations such as multifrequency and up to 660 L1C/A-equivalent signals. Extensively used in aeronautics, space and defense industries, Constellator answers complex requirements:
- Standalone mode (on the ground and in space)
- All constellations and their signals, including BeiDou, Navic/IRNSS and QZSS
- Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) mode with zero effective latency and 1000-Hz update rate
- CRPA generation capability
- Capability to generate “Restricted Signals” through a dedicated interface, called PRN-Link
In the space industry, Constellator implements the advanced models (Earth gravity, drag, 3D ionospheric models, side lobes, etc.) needed to achieve accurate simulations for all kinds of orbits (from LEO to GEO and SSTO). Combined with other Syntony GNSS simulation products (interference generator, Echo recorder and player), Constellator can tackle challenging use cases such as testing of jamming, spoofing, multipath and multiple antennas. It is based on a software-defined radio, making it hardware-ready for future constellations, signals and codes. It is easily upgradeable and versatile.
GNSS Recorder and player. Echo is an ultra-high-fidelity GNSS record-and-playback solution that captures real-life signals and environments — for instance, from airplanes — and then replays them for R&D or production tests. Echo offers:
- 3 RF channels of 100-MHz bandwidth each (for the whole set of GNSS signals from all constellations)
- 16-bit resolution (I&Q)
- From seven to more than 1,000 hours of record/replay capabilities depending on the configuration
The Echo platform allows full 16 bits of I/Q recording at 100 Mhz for three channels, simultaneously. As such, it provides the highest achievable record/replay fidelity. Echo-R can also record complex and very long realistic scenarios from a simulator. Echo-P can replay them with very high fidelity for long-run or production tests.
Xidus GNSS Simulator — adaptable, flexible, extensible
The advanced customization and configurability of Xidus enables users to perform rigorous and extensive testing of GNSS systems.
Test scenarios. Xidus meets all requirements regarding multi-GNSS, multi-frequency and multi-RF signal generation out of the box. Innovative Xidus signal extension and enhancement (SEE) technology allows users to integrate bespoke generation blocks into the signal generation path. In addition, Xidus’ advanced support capabilities allow remote support and updates, remote training and even remote scenario execution.
Easy hardware or software upgrades. Xidus has modular signal generation hardware that allows easy and robust field upgrades. New modules are automatically calibrated, allowing users to accomodate multiple concurrent navigation development projects.
Expert background. WORK Microwave has been designing and building GNSS simulators for more than 15 years. The Xidus hardware leverages WORK Microwave’s 35+ years of experience in the design and manufacturing of bespoke digital and analogue microwave products.
Xidus-424 GNSS Simulator. The Xidus-424 has up to 128 LOS channels, 512 multipath channels and two RF outputs. It supports all GNSS frequencies and signals. It supports an update rate up to 100 Hz and has very wide dynamic power range configurability.
Xidus-648 GNSS Simulator. The Xidus-648 provides all the capabilities of the Xidus-424 plus additional features: up to 256 LOS channels, 1,024 multipath channels, four RF outputs and a 1000-Hz update rate.
Xidus-Studio client software. The software provides everything for testing GNSS systems: different vehicle models with 6DOF, multiple vehicle simulation, spoofing and meaconing, multiple TX antenna patterns, multiple RX antenna patterns, industry-standard error models and runtime distortions on individual channels. Xidus-Studio also allows the design of bespoke satellite orbits ranging from LEO to GEO. Available on Linux and Windows.
Xidus Series. Connect up to four Xidus units to produce a simulator capable of mega-constellation simulation, with precise phase synchronization across units.
OHB Digital Solutions
GIPSIE-RTX (GNSS Multisystem Performance Simulation Environment – Real Time Extension)
GIPSIE-RTX is a fully featured GNSS signal generator with real-time streaming functionality, including real-time control of the simulation environment. It consists of a high-quality signal simulator as the hardware platform and a flexible and powerful GNSS simulation environment.
The multi-system and multifrequency-capable GIPSIE-RTX simulates arbitrary satellite orbits using a sophisticated orbit integrator. It is able to model all error sources, delays and propagation effects. These include various models for satellite clocks, ionosphere and troposphere, multipath, signal power, antenna patterns and noise. In addition, multiple types of signal interference, like jamming and spoofing, can be defined. Customized navigation message formats and contents can be used to simulate future GNSS signal features.
Besides generating RF signals, GIPSIE-RTX is also capable of directly simulating digital signals, taking into account user-defined modeling of a radio-frequency front end. Comprehensive data logging of all intermediate results is available for detailed analyses.
GIPSIE-RTX provides a real-time input interface and thus supports hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing, such as for automotive applications.
GIPSIE-RTX is a new compact multi-channel high performance platform for complex and versatile GNSS testing. Features include:
- Highly reproducible scenarios
- Modeling of all error sources, delays and propagation effects
- Interference (jamming and spoofing) simulation
- HIL simulation
- Synchronization of multiple simulators for advanced testing (e.g., array antenna)
- Two separate RF outputs per device
- Supported GNSS signals:
- GPS: L1 C/A, L2C, L5
- Galileo: E1 B/C, E5a-I/Q, E5b-I/Q
- GLONASS: G1 C/A, G2 C/A
- BeiDou: B1, B2
- NavIC: L5 SPS, S-Band SPS
- QZSS: L1 C/A, L2C, L5
- SBAS: L1 C/A
- Constellation update rate: up to 250 Hz
- Number of channels: up to 128
QA707 cyber-security simulator
QA707 is the cutting edge solution for global threat GNSS awareness and management. It is a GNSS simulator specifically designed to test cyber-attacks and authentication, and includes the simulation of GNSS interference, deception, jamming, spoofing and advanced cyber-threats such as data and code level attacks.
The high flexibility in the creation of the scenarios and the definition of the type of attacker allow cyber-threat and vulnerability testing for several applications,These applications may include, for example, autonomous driving and vehicle tracking, aeronautics and high dynamics applications, space GNSS receivers and timing.
OSNMA support. The Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) simulation is an opportunity to test the new Galileo data protected service against a number of known vulnerabilities in GNSS applications. The OSNMA simulator is also available as a standalone tool, allowing the generation of OSNMA data that can be used with third party simulators.
PC-capable. QA707 runs on a standard PC. It is compatible with several third-party hardware RF up-converters, including National Instruments’ USRP. Additionally, it can support customer-specific hardware through the hardware API interface.
QA707 main features
- Multi constellation (currently GPS L1, GALILEO E1, SBAS L1).
- Galileo OSNMA
- RF simulation, binary file dump, signal record and replay
- Support to SDR platforms and open API for custom RF upconverters
- Runtime streaming of scenario information over UDP (motion, channel data)
- Data level cyber-attacks
- Accurate spoofing signals control, trajectory spoofing, signal replay attacks
- Narrow band, wide band, frequency modulated jamming
- Integrity threats (on request): evil waveform, erroneous ephemerides, code/carrier divergence, low satellite signal power, excessive range acceleration
- Built-in editing tools: Rinex editor, trajectory editor
Jackson Labs Technologies (JLT)
Miniature simulator and scenario generator
The 18-channel miniature full-constellation CLAW GPS Simulator is a fully self-contained, low size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) miniature GPS simulator. It is very popular in manufacturing environments as well as R&D applications that require consistent and repeatable local GNSS signals at low price points.
The CLAW simulator does not require external computers for processing and control — it works fully self-contained by simply applying power, and storing location/time/date data in internal non-volatile (NV) memory, or by storing complex vector data to simulate highly dynamic scenarios.
The CLAW also can be used to transcode NMEA or SCPI position/velocity/time (PVT) data into GPS RF signals. JLT offers an easy to use, highly configurable and cost-free SimCon Windows application program that is downloadable from the JLT website.
The SimCon application allows random scenario generation and is thus usable to simulate leap-second events, week 1023 rollover events, or any other GPS live-sky scenarios, including highly complex yet easy-to-create dynamic vector simulations.
For authorized U.S. government users, a version that does not have altitude and velocity limitations is popular for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) simulations. Multipath simulation allows use of the entire 18-channel simulator capability.
The unit can be field-upgraded with an easy to use in-field software upgrade feature. The CLAW is also very useful in GNSS receiver sensitivity testing for R&D or mass-production assembly lines as it allows accurate control of RF output power ranging from –100 dBm to less than –130 dBm with 0.1-dB resolution and typically better than 1-dB accuracy over the controllable power range.
The CLAW GPS Simulator also has a built-in RF signal generator with sweep, CW and random noise functions that are useful in simulating GNSS jamming scenarios, as well as GPS spoofing scenarios. The simulator comes in an FCC-certified metal desktop enclosure with numerous accessories.
For 2021, the CLAW firmware has been updated to allow live-sky almanac and ephemerides to be automatically uploaded from various externally connected GNSS receivers. This makes simulations using real-time live-sky constellations (such as used in simulating spoofing attacks) an easy task. A free firmware update is available from JLT.
Versatile GNSS test and simulation environment
The MGSE product family creates a versatile GNSS test and simulation environment that improves the development, qualiﬁcation and certiﬁcation process of GNSS receivers within development phases and for the validation and certification in end-to-end tests.
MGSE enables mobile and stationary interference monitoring, such as for protecting critical infrastructures (based on MGSE REC), and can be used for interference mitigation if combined with TeleOrbit’s GNSSA-6E (six-element antenna array) or its GNSSA-DCP (dual circularly polarized antenna).
With MGSE REC-REP 2.0 users can, among other tasks, record Galileo PRS signals in a real user environment and replay them for Galileo PRS receiver testing. It is also possible to replay simulated GNSS signals.
MGSE SIM-REP supports the development of software-defined radios/receivers (SDR) or specialized algorithms by creating a simulation environment that provides the possibility and flexibility to use synthetically generated GNSS data and recorded real-world samples — both exactly reproducible.
For jamming and spoofing test and evaluation, TeleOrbit offers a sophisticated solution based on the MGSE simulation, recording and replaying product family.
Technical background. The multi-band RF front-end (MGSE REC) receives the GNSS RF signals in different frequency bands simultaneously to obtain digital IF data, which can be used for GNSS multi-system signal analysis and comparison.
MGSE REC also includes a reception board to receive and process the NavIC S-band signal in addition to other L-band frequencies.
The MGSE Replay Unit (MGSE REP) includes a flexible multi-band RF replay device that can stream simulated and recorded raw IF data to a digital baseband output or to an analog RF signal.
MGSE REP simultaneously supports up to two independent RF channels and up to four GNSS signals, such as L1, E1, B1, G1.