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Expert Opinions: What key challenge should developers test for in a full PNT solution?

March 9, 2016  - By

Q: What key challenge should system integrators and product developers test for in a full position, navigation and timing solution?

Günter Heinrichs Director, Customer Applications, IFEN Gmbh

Günter Heinrichs
Director, Customer Applications, IFEN GmbH

A: Spoofing is normally associated with the creation of false signals in order to generate a position error, but the same technique may be used to distort a timing solution. With GNSS timing systems being used in critical infrastructure, like power supply, financial transactions and data network synchronization, disruption of timing solutions could have catastrophic implications. GNSS simulators can be used to test the vulnerability of current timing systems and also the effectiveness of potential mitigation techniques.


Roger Hart Director of Engineering, Spirent Federal

Roger Hart
Director of Engineering, Spirent Federal

A: An expanded set of tests for anomalous conditions. The growing number of GNSS signals offers attractive performance benefits, but also multiplies exposure to GNSS errors and interference. Functional requirements are clear to the developer and are naturally developed first. Defining response to anomalies is a less clear task, which too easily becomes a secondary concern. To ensure coverage of the larger test space, multi-GNSS development now requires that anomalous cases be addressed earlier, at priority on par with core functional requirements.


John Fischer Chief Technology Officer, Spectracom

John Fischer
Chief Technology Officer, Spectracom

A: Multi-Constellation performance. Using two or more constellations can significantly increase coverage under adverse, limited-sky-view situations. Using two or more frequency bands will combat interference and jamming, and deriving a PNT solution from multiple constellations is a great way to detect spoofing. Integrators/ developers should be using a simulator to verify how the system/receiver behaves under loss of sky view, jamming or spoofing when tracking any combination of multiple constellations.


Mark Sampson LabSat Product Manager, Racelogic

Mark Sampson
LabSat Product Manager, Racelogic

A: The recent explosion of wearable technology has led to a proliferation of devices being used in “edge-case” situations, with receiver performance being put under greater pressure to perform in a multitude of potential scenarios. A record and replay simulator gives you real signals as opposed to modeled ones, allowing for GNSS product development to be conducted with absolute realism, resulting in greater robustness within the market.


Iurie Ilie Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, Skydel Solutions

Iurie Ilie
Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, Skydel Solutions

A: The threat of intentional broadcasting of a fake GNSS signal is dangerously growing. GPS spoofing is real and not a military-only concern. The proliferation of SDR and open-source code make spoofing accessible to malicious people even without extensive knowledge in the field of GNSS. Most GPS receivers, as tests show, are vulnerable to spoofing, and no warnings are generated when it happens. Test engineers should definitely consider spoofing attack detection in their test plans.

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1 Comment on "Expert Opinions: What key challenge should developers test for in a full PNT solution?"

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  1. Wiliam K. says:

    Clearly the detection of intentional interference, such as spoofing, is vital. Not just ignoring the signal but also warning that it is present. The second new and vital function would be to deliver a warning whenever the results may be compromised and the resulting position in error.