2015 Simulator Buyers Guide

March 3, 2015  - By

Special Section, March 2015. Download a PDF of this section, with the Simulator Product Showcase.

CAST Navigation

CAST-SGX GPS Satellite Simulator


The SGX GPS satellite signal simulator from CAST Navigation. Photo: CAST Navigation

The 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 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 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 can also employ antenna gain patterns and vehicle silhouettes if desired. The user can generate a customized high precision six-degree-of-freedom trajectory simply by defining a mission profile that is based on raw maneuvers, waypoints, Google Maps or a combination of these maneuver types.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 test equipment for government, military, prime vendor, and consumer markets.

www.castnav.comphone: 978 858-0130; email: sales@castnav.com

Cobham AvComm (formerly Aeroflex)

GPSG-1000 — Portable GPS/Galileo/SBAS Positional Simulator

Aeroflex GPSG-1000: Portable GPS/Galileo/SBAS Positional Simulator

GPSG-1000: Portable GPS/Galileo/SBAS Positional Simulator Photo: Galileo

Designed to be a versatile yet affordable satellite simulator, the GPSG-1000 is proving to be a vital instrument used by those validating and testing GNSS receivers in a variety of applications within the transportation, consumer electronics, aerospace and military industry segments, to name a few. 

The GPSG-1000 is a single carrier, multi-channel GPS/Galileo simulator that is portable and ruggedized so it can be safely and confidently deployed in a variety of outdoor and indoor environments. The unit is available in a 6- or 12-channel configuration, and supports the following GNSS signals: L1, L1C, L2C, L5, E1, E5, E5a, E5b and SBAS (WAAS and EGNOS). 

The GPSG-1000 can be directly connected to a GNSS receiver under test. It can also simulate actual “open-sky” situations whereby the unit can generate its signals through the included antenna coupler system that isolates and transmits to the UUT’s antenna(s). Utilizing an integrated GPS receiver, the GPSG-1000 simulates actual time of day and date as well as the real constellation that would be available for navigation at that specific point in time. Multiple almanacs and route files can be saved to the GPSG’s memory, thereby enabling current and past history dynamic motion, constellation environment creation/recreation and other significant troubleshooting capabilities. During any given static or dynamic simulation, space vehicle parametrics and health can be user controlled.

The GPSG-1000 features a touchscreen user interface that can be remotely hosted via an integrated Ethernet port. The unit uses a rechargeable, Lithium Ion battery enabling hours of untethered use, and can also be used while the battery is recharging. 

ats.aeroflex.com; phone: (316) 522-4981 or (800) 835-2352; email: info-test@aeroflex.com


NavX-NCS Professional GNSS Simulator

NavX-NCS Essential GNSS Simulator


The NavX-NCS Professional GNSS Simulator by IFEN. Photo: IFEN

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/B3
  • 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 for Controlled 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


LabSat 3 Triple Constellation Simulator

Racelogic LabSat 3. Photo: RaceLogic

RaceLogic LabSat 3. Photo: RaceLogic

LabSat 3 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 in order 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 being able to simultaneously record or replay GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS, Galileo, and SBAS signals, it can 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 1PPS 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 60 pre-recorded scenarios supplied as part of the package, recorded from various locations around the globe. Additionally, SatGen software, a demo version of which is available from the LabSat website, 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 test engineers the ability to develop their products using simulations that would be difficult or impossible to record due to geographic location or safety constraints.

LabSat 3 is available as a record and replay, or replay-only version; either one, two, or three constellation types generate a single, dual, or triple constellation file.

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 in Vector Signal Generator

The R&S SMBV100A: GNSS Simulator in Vector Signal Generator.

The R&S SMBV100A: GNSS Simulator in Vector Signal Generator. Photo: R&S

The GNSS simulator in the vector signal generator R&S SMBV100A is designed for development, verification and production of GNSS chipsets, modules and receivers. The simulator supports all possible scenarios, from simple setups with individual, static satellites all the way to flexible scenarios generated in real time with up to 24 dynamic GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS satellites.

  • GNSS simulator with support of GPS L1/L2 (C/A and P code), GLONASS L1/ L2, Galileo E1, BeiDou and QZSS L1, including hybrid constellations.
  • Real-time simulation of realistic constellations with up to 24 satellites and unlimited simulation time.
  • Flexible scenario generation including moving scenarios, dynamic power control and atmospheric modeling.
  • Configuration of realistic user environments, including obscuration and multipath, antenna characteristics and vehicle attitude.
  • Static mode for basic receiver testing using signals with zero or constant Doppler shift.
  • Support of Assisted GNSS (A-GNSS) test scenarios, including generation of assistance data for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS.
  • Real-time external trajectory feed for hardware in the loop (HIL) applications.
  • High signal dynamics, simulation of spinning vehicles and precision code (P-code) simulations to support aerospace and defense applications.
  • Enhanced simulation capabilities for aerospace applications by supporting ground-based augmentation systems (GBAS).
  • Support of other digital communications and radio standards in the same instrument.

www.rohde-schwarz.comemail: customersupport@rohde-schwarz.com


Afforable, Flexible and User-Friendly GNSS Simulators

The Spectracom family of simulators.

The Spectracom family of simulators. Photo: Spectracom

Spectracom GNSS Simulators support test and development programs from simple manufacturing tests to multi-output testing across the diverse ecosphere of industries relying on GNSS technology. Spectracom’s innovation allows users of any skill level full control over the GNSS constellation, vehicle motion/attitude and signal path complications such as atmospherics and multipath to develop complex scenarios. Typical test conditions include:

  • Clock errors
  • Data errors
  • “Real-world” motion from embedded Google Maps
  • In-band noise generation
  • Multipath
  • Signal obstructions calculated from 3D building models
  • “Current time” simulation
  • Real-time HIL testing
  • Easy synchronization for multi-output testing
  • Automative download of the current almanac
  • Antenna pattern effects
  • Inertial sensor testing
  • Assisted GNSS testing

No dedicated PC is required. Scenarios are run and managed from the front panel, SCPI commands, or any PC/tablet via a web interface. Users can select a flexible, field upgradeable Spectracom simulator, and then purchase the software options they need.

GSG-6 Series multi-frequency, advanced GNSS simulator is powerful enough for any cutting-edge test program. GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS and IRNSS signals are available across multiple frequencies. The GSG-6 is designed for military, research or professional applications.

GSG-5 Series multi-constellation L1-band GNSS simulator is designed for commercial development/integration programs. If a user is developing commercial products with GNSS capability, the GSG-5 will shorten test programs with confidence.

GSG-51 single channel signal generator is designed for one purpose — fast, simple go/no-go manufacturing test and validation, ensuring the manufacturing line is operating at full capacity with confidence in quality.

www.spectracom.comemail: sales@spectracomcorp.com; phone: 585-321-5800

Spirent Federal Systems

GNSS Simulators

Spirent's GSS9000 constellation simulator.

Spirent’s GSS9000 constellation simulator. Photo: Spirent

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

GSS9000. The newly released Spirent GSS9000 multi-frequency, multi-GNSS RF constellation simulator can simulate signals from all GNSS and regional navigation.  The GSS9000 offers a four-fold increase in RF signal iteration rate (SIR) over Spirent’s GSS8000 simulator. The GSS9000 SIR is 1000 Hz (1 ms), enabling higher dynamic simulations with more accuracy and fidelity. It includes support for restricted and classified signals from the GPS and Galileo systems, as well as advanced capabilities for ultra-high dynamics. It can evaluate resilience of navigation systems to interference and spoofing attacks, and has the flexibility to reconfigure constellations, channels and frequencies between test runs or test cases.

Hardware changes can be done in the field, supported by the new on-board calibrator module. The GSS9000 is extensible and can support the widest range of carriers, ranging codes and data streams for the Galileo, GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou systems, as well as regional/augmentation systems. Multi-antenna/multi-vehicle simulation, for differential-GNSS and attitude determination, and interference/jamming and spoofing testing are also supported.

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.

GSS6425. The Spirent GSS6425 RPS quickly and simply records complex real-world RF environments, capturing both GNSS signals and atmospheric/interference effects. These environments can then be replayed repeatedly to the hardware software under test, reducing project, travel and engineering costs.

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

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