2014 Simulator Buyers Guide

March 1, 2014  - By

In GPS World’s annual Simulator Buyers Guide, we feature simulator tools, devices, and software from six prominent companies. Also available as a downloadable PDF.

CAST Navigation

CAST-SGX GPS Satellite Simulator


The new SGX GPS satellite signal simulator from CAST Navigation provides the user with dynamic, repeatable GPS RF signals for use in the laboratory or in the field for a wide range of GPS applications. The SGX simulator is housed in a portable, lightweight, handheld enclosure measuring 7 x 11 x 3 inches and weighing just over 4 pounds.

The SGX replaces the CAST-SIMCOM simulator, a 17- inch, 50-pound simulator. The SGX is lightweight and portable, operates on AC or battery power, and features 16 channels of L1 C/A and P codes. Based on CAST’s technology that has been developed for use in the company’s larger military products, it is extremely accurate and repeatable.

The SGX is controlled via an intuitive touchscreen interface that allows the user to select, start, and stop scenarios, change screen views, and change satellite RF power levels while a scenario is running. Three test scenarios are delivered with the simulator.

XGEN Plus Scenario Generation Software. This optional software gives the user the ability to generate custom scenarios for use with the SGX. The software allows for complete control over GPS almanac, ephemeris, and all satellite error sources.

The user can select from a variety of vehicle types and simulate static or dynamic motion. The user may also employ antenna gain patterns and vehicle silhouettes if desired. The user may generate a trajectory by defining a total mission profile using a six-degree-of-freedom model. The new scenarios can be downloaded via USB port or SD card interfaces.

CAST has been in the GPS simulation and support business for more than 30 years, designing, developing, manufacturing, and integrating innovative GPS/INS simulators and associated equipment for government, military, prime vendor, and consumer markets.

phone: 978 858-0130
email: sales@castnav.com


NavX-NCS Professional GNSS Simulator
NavX-NCS Essential GNSS Simulator


The absolute flexibility of the NavX-NCS Professional GNSS Simulator allows it to be configured with up to 108 channels and all of the following signals:
•    GPS L1/L2/L5 C/A & P code and L2C
•    GLONASS G1/G2 standard & high accuracy codes
•    Galileo E1/E5/E6 (BOC/CBOC/AltBOC)
•    BeiDou B1/B2
•    QZSS L1 & L1-SAIF
•    IMES

The user is enabled to assign signals freely to any of the RF modules fitted to the simulator. This allows the same hardware to be used in a range of different configurations.

Signals may be added by software license with no need to return the hardware for upgrade.

Up to four independent RF outputs may be fitted, enabling the user to simulate multiple antenna locations simultaneously (allowing simulation of multiple antennas on one vehicle, multiple vehicles simultaneously, a mixture of static locations and mobile vehicles, and multiple antenna elements forControlled Reception Pattern Antenna [CRPA] testing).

The comprehensive and easy-to-use Control Center operating software allows the operator to quickly create realistic test scenarios for effective testing of user equipment.

IFEN also offers the NavX-NCS Essential GNSS Simulator, which is available with 21 or 42 channels and is capable of simulating GPS L1 (including SBAS L1), GLONASS G1, Galileo E1, BeiDou B1, QZSS L1, and IMES. The simulator is also supplied with Control Center operating software for comprehensive scenario generation.

For USA and Canada
Mark Wilson
phone: 951-739-7331
email: m.wilson@ifen.com
For Rest of World
Dr. Guenter Heinrichs
phone: +49-8121-2238-20
email: sales@ifen.com


LabSat 3


LabSat 3, the latest generation of GNSS simulators from Racelogic, is a low cost, stand-alone, battery powered, multi-constellation, RF record and replay device designed to assist GNSS engineers in the development and testing of their products. With its small size and all-in-one design, LabSat 3 makes it easier than ever to collect raw satellite data in the same environment that end users experience in everyday use. This enables repeatable and realistic testing to be carried out under controlled conditions.

LabSat 3 doesn’t need to be connected to a PC to record live-sky GNSS signals. With one-touch recording to SD card and a two-hour battery life, it can be used in any outdoor location to create real-world scenarios, for eventual replay back in the lab. As well as recording GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS, Galileo, and SBAS signals, it can simultaneously log CAN bus, serial, or digital data, embedded alongside the satellite information. This additional information can then be replayed alongside the GNSS output, with synchronization to within 60 ns. A 1 PPS signal can also be generated using the internal GPS receiver.

LabSat 3 can be used as a replay system out of the box with a set of pre-recorded scenarios supplied as part of the package, recorded from various locations around the globe. SatGen software, a free version of which is included with LabSat 3, allows for scenario generation of user-defined trajectories, with precise control over velocity, heading, height, and constellation profiles. Routes are also easily created in Google Maps, and the software also supports NMEA and KML file import. SatGen gives the test engineer the ability to develop a product using simulations that would be difficult or impossible to record due to geographic location or safety constraints.

LabSat 3 is available in four variants: replay only, or record and replay, of a single channel — one of GPS/Galileo/SBAS/QZSS, GLONASS, or BeiDou; and replay only, or record and replay, of dual channels — two of GPS/Galileo/SBAS/QZSS, GLONASS, or BeiDou.

LabSat is currently used by many leading manufacturers of GPS chipsets, portable navigation devices, smartphones, and by major car companies in their test, development, and production processes.

www.labsat.co.uk; phone: +44 (0)1280 823803

Rohde & Schwarz

R&S SMBV100A: GNSS Simulator on Vector Signal Generator


Rohde & Schwarz extends the functionality of the R&S SMBV100A vector signal generator by adding BeiDou/Compass capability to its integrated GNSS simulator. With the R&S SMBV-K107 option, the GNSS simulator now covers the BeiDou standard as well as the GPS, Galileo and GLONASS satellite navigation systems.

The new option allows users to generate real-time scenarios with up to 24 BeiDou satellites. R&S SMBV-K107 supports all possible BeiDou orbits and can therefore even simulate satellites that are not yet in orbit. It also supports hybrid scenarios with GPS, Galileo, or GLONASS satellites. A software update makes it easy to upgrade existing GNSS simulators for BeiDou. No hardware modifications are required.

The R&S SMBV100A permits users to quickly define their own satellite scenarios to test GNSS receivers under diverse conditions. A wide range of options are available for simulating realistic effects such as signal obscuration and multipath propagation. These scenarios can now be configured for BeiDou as well.

This inexpensive solution is one of the few on the market that does not require an external PC for testing receivers and components of satellite-based navigations systems. In addition to GNSS signals, the R&S SMBV100A can simulate mobile radio, wireless, and radio standards, allowing users to test several functions with a single instrument.

The new R&S SMBV-K107 option is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.

email: customersupport@rohde-schwarz.com


Configurable, Upgradeable GNSS Simulators


Spectracom multi-channel, multi-frequency GSG Series GPS/GNSS Signal Simulators are designed for research, development and manufacturing. They provide powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use application-specific GNSS testing solutions allowing users to simulate virtually any condition through built-in and user-defined scenarios. The simulators now feature expanded capabilities and a flexible, field upgradeable design that allows users to select only the features needed for a specific application, upgrade when necessary.

The GSG 5 and 6 Series simulators are portable and fully operational via front panel, web-based remote control (Ethernet, USB, GPIB), or SCPI protocol. The models include GSG StudioView PC Software to build, edit, and manage complex scenarios and trajectories. Advanced simulation features include: SBAS (WAAS, EGNOS, GAGAN, MSAS), multipath scenarios, interference detection and mitigation, white-noise generation, and trajectories. The new features and capabilities can be added to any GSG-5 or GSG-6 purchased since June 2012.

GSG-6 Series Multi-Frequency, Advanced GNSS Simulator
•    Up to 64 channels and 4-frequencies simultaneously
•    GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
•    Sync multiple units for testing hundreds of signals
•    L1, L2, L2C, L5, E1, E5, B1; [E6, B2, B3 capable HW, with FW upgrade available in the future]
•    P-code, pseudo P(Y) in L1 and L2
•    Add-ons for real-time scenarios, record and playback, Assisted-GNSS, RTK/Differential measurements, high velocity
•    Fully upgradable to future constellations and signals

GSG-5 Series Multi-Channel, Advanced GNSS Simulator
•    4, 8 or 16 channels
•    GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
•    L1, E1, B1
•    Upgradeable to more channels and frequencies

GSG-51 Low Cost Single Channel GPS Signal Generator
•    1-channel GNSS tester for fast, simple manufacturing test and validation
•    Fully upgradeable to GSG-5 and 6 series

email: sales@spectracomcorp.com; phone: 585-321-5800

Spirent Federal Systems

GNSS Simulators


Spirent provides simulators that cover all applications, including research and development, integration/verification, and production testing.

GSS8000 (pictured). Spirent’s flagship simulator, the GSS8000, is fully approved for Y-code, SAASM, AES M-code and SDS M-code testing. Spirent provides options and configurations for testing GNSS interference effects and interference mitigation techniques, such as integrated GPS/inertial testing, CRPA testing, and jamming/anti-jam simulation.

Spirent has delivered simulators that produce legacy signals as well as modernized signals such as 2C, L5, and L1C. In addition to GPS, systems can include GLONASS L1/L2, Galileo, and Beidou-2, plus SBAS (WAAS, MSAS, and EGNOS) and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS).

CRPA Test System. Spirent’s Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) Test System generates both GPS L1/L2 and interference signals; multiple GSS8000 chassis may be combined to coherently control up to seven antenna elements. Null-steering and space/time adaptive CRPA testing are both supported by this comprehensive approach.

GSS7790. Spirent’s GSS7790 Multi-Output Simulation System allows the signal from each satellite to be mapped to a separate RF output. These signals can then be fed to individual transmit antennas, which, when suitably deployed in an anechoic chamber, replicate the spatial diversity of satellite and jammer signals incident on the receiver antenna. Additional flexibility is offered as the signal is further split into its GPS L1 and L2 components, as appropriate.

Jeff Martin, Director of Sales
Kalani Needham, Sales Manager
email: info@spirentfederal.com
phone: 801-785-1448; fax: 801-785-1294