Expert Opinions: Buyers’ need for GNSS receiver testing, certification

August 29, 2016  - By

Q: Buyers get little guidance as to how specific receivers react to interference, particularly in critical infrastructure. Is there a need for receiver testing and certification along the lines of Underwriters Laboratories to guide purchase and acquisition?

Logan Scott President, LSC

Logan Scott, President, LSC

A: Exhaustive “seven-nines” testing and verification is expensive, takes a long time and stymies innovation. Yet simple and pragmatic testing can reveal faults very quickly. Numerous receivers fail to recognize that interference is occurring and/or produce hazardously misleading position with no warning to the user. Simple algorithms can detect problems quickly, and receivers should implement them. UL-style testing would reveal gross deficiencies in receivers and would provide a basis for selecting receivers.


Dana Goward, President, Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation

A: Whether it’s a circular saw or a GNSS receiver, safe use of a tool requires understanding its capabilities and how to use it. I have heard all kinds of reports of the wrong type of receiver being used for critical applications. An authoritative process that clarifies receiver capabilities and appropriate use would greatly help buyers educate themselves. Ultimately, it would make us all safer.

Tony Murfin, Contributing Editor, Professional OEM & UAV, GPS World

Tony Murfin, Contributing Editor, Professional OEM & UAV, GPS World

A: Most high-end receiver manufacturers have worked for many years on GNSS interference resilience. Jamming incidents have pushed manufacturers harder for solutions because customers demand more. We don’t need legislation; market pressure alone continues to bring about better interference solutions. If you’re using a low-end receiver, it’s probably somewhat processor- and memory-constrained, so it’s hard to build in better signal processing. Time will inevitably fix this problem; in the meantime buy a better receiver.

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