Launchpad: OEM simulators, receivers

September 25, 2017  - By


Time & Frequency Reference

GNSS master clock and NTP/PTP time server

VersaSync is a high-performance GPS master clock and network time server that delivers accurate, software configurable time and frequency signals under all circumstances, including GNSS-denied environments. Its compact size and high level of ruggedization make VersaSync suitable for mobile applications in harsh environments. Its small footprint allows for easy integration of the time and frequency functionality into systems architecture.

VersaSync accommodates an OCXO, a high-performance OCXO or a CSAC oscillator, allowing it to maintain frequency and time accuracy for long periods of GPS/GNSS outage. It can be re-synchronized by an external reference. VersaSync is available with a C/A L1 GPS receiver or with an L1/L2 SAASM receiver. An extension slot accommodates additional timing interfaces.

VersaSync physical inputs and outputs are software configurable and can adapt to various application requirements. I/O pins can be configured as TTL, 10 V pulse, RS232, RS485. This allows VersaSync to provide a high number of outputs of the same type, while still fitting into a small form factor. If the combination of software configurable outputs is not enough, VersaSync can accommodate an option board (within the same form factor), designed to customer requirements.

Because of its high level of ruggedization, VersaSync provides exceptional intrinsic reliability. Strong status monitoring capability, either locally or remotely, allows quick fault diagnoses. An internal, exportable log can be accessed.

Verasync Attributes

  • Low size, weight and power
  • Ruggedized (MIL-STD-810G)
  • High versatility with software configurable inputs/outputs
  • Design can be efficiently customized to match specific customer requirements
  • Easy integration due to small footprint and low power consumption
  • NTP/PTP precise time transfer over Ethernet, including security protocols that prevent network vulnerabilities
  • Low phase noise 10-MHz frequency distribution
  • Configurable pulse signals, including IRIG or HaveQuick timecodes
  • Serial link Time Of Day (ToD) messages


GNSS Simulator

for advanced research and development

The Simceiver by IP Solutions now features Beidou as a simulated signal with access to full parameters rather than the record and playback function used previously.

The Simceiver is part of the Replicator system, a multi-frequency, multi-system GNSS simulator for advanced research and development, equipment testing and education. It can also function as a recording, playback and signal analysis instrument.

The Replicator is the result of a collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Besides the Simceiver hardware unit, components include the ReGen control software for real-time simulation, Streamer control software for recording and playback and ARAMIS software receiver for signal analysis.

The 24-channel Replicator provides real-time generation of GNSS signals, recording and playback of dual-frequency GNSS RF signals, and GNSS RF signal analysis with JAXA COSMODE ionospheric scintillation monitor.

The Replicator offers real-time simulation of dual-frequency GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou or GPS+GLONASS, GPS+BeiDou, GPS+Galileo signals. Comprehensive simulation models include atmosphere, multipath, and more. Also available is signal analysis based on JAXA COSMODE ionospheric scintillation monitor.

Two or more units can be used to simulate, record and playback more signals at the same time. Simulated and recorded signals can be stored in digitized format, analyzed by a MATLAB software receiver and played back as RF at any time.

Replicator Advantages

  • User defined models with ANSI C API
  • Real-time simulation
  • Record and playback
  • GNSS signal analysis
  • Upgradable to more features , signals and frequencies for the difference in price.


Multi-System RF Front-Ends

4- and 7-channel boards for software GNSS receivers

The NT1065_USB3 and NT1065/66_USB3 multi-channel GNSS RF front-end boards are based on NTLab’s RF ICs: NT1065 (4 channels for GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/Beidou/IRNSS/QZSS, L1/L2/L3/L5 bands) and new NT1066 (2 channels for GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/Beidou/IRNSS/QZSS, L1/L2/L3/L5 bands and 1 channel for IRNSS S-band). Both boards support USB3 connection, thus allowing users to process captured satellite signals on a PC or DSP platform.


Multi-system multi-band 4-channel GNSS RF front end based on NT1065.


  • IF bandwidth up to 32MHz for each channel
  • Acquisition of wideband signals up to 64-MHz (such as Galileo E5) with 2 coherent channels
  • Built-in 2-bit ADC
  • USB3 interface (up to 800-Mbit/s)
  • Ability to connect 4x CRPA

NT1065/66_USB3 BOARD

Multi-system multi-band 7-channel GNSS RF front end based on NT1065 plus new NT1066.


All NT1065_USB3 features, plus:

  • 2 additional L1/L2 GNSS channels
  • IRNSS S-band channel

Product Support

Both boards are accompanied by comprehensive software and manuals:

  • GUI for NT1065/66 registers access and USB3 data capture (Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Linux Ubuntu 16.04 compatible)
  • Complete NT1065 and NT1066 datasheets
  • Configuration examples
  • PCBs reference design


Multi-Constellation Simulator

Designed to test receivers against current and future signals

Constellator features top-end processing performance and RF quality and offers flexibility in simulation control. It performs fair-weather tests, but also is designed to subject receivers to suboptimal conditions, extreme situations and combinations of errors difficult to access in real-world tests — all of it finely controlled and indefinitely repeatable.

At constellator’s core is software, ensuring that all future constellations, satellites and codes can be handled. Most functional upgrades will then be software-only.

Constellator is used in aerospace and defense (among others) for multi-antenna receiver testing for spacecraft launchers, satellite onboard receiver testing (telecom and observation) and defense UAV receiver testing.

Constellator includes four spatial reference frames and trajectory editors for ground, marine, aerial and spatial motion and import facility. With hardware-in-the-loop, it receives position updates from test rigs in real time and generates corresponding GNSS signals and messages.

Propagation issues can be simulated at individual signal level with different models provided for ionosphere and troposphere.

Satellite error modeling options include orbital errors, onboard clock errors, satellite electronics (front-end) defects, satellite dysfunctions and signal fade, disappearance and “evil waveform” incidents.

Constellator Features

  • 128 channels (extensible) delivering high-quality satellite signals on six distinct frequencies (L and S band)
  • Hardware-in-the-loop testing at 10- to 100-Hz refresh rates
  • Extensive simulation options:
  • Full-time and location control
  • Receiver trajectories with extreme dynamics
  • Background noise, interference and jamming/spoofing (two units)
  • Atmospheric propagation errors
  • Satellite errors
  • Multipath and obscuration
  • On-the-fly scenario modifications
  • Receiver attitude control
  • Very accurate spaceborne trajectories

Syntony GNSS,

GNSS+INS Technology

Delivers NovAtel SPAN GNSS inertial navigation

The PwrPak7-E1 contains an Epson G320N micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) inertial measurement unit (IMU) to deliver NovAtel SPAN technology in an integrated, single-box solution. It has a powerful OEM7 GNSS engine, integrated MEMS IMU, built in Wi-Fi, onboard NTRIP client and server support and onboard internal storage. The PwrPak7-E1 also has enhanced connection options including serial, USB, CAN and Ethernet.

SPAN Technology

Synchronous Position, Attitude and Navigation (SPAN) technology brings together two different but complementary technologies: GNSS positioning and inertial navigation. The absolute accuracy of GNSS positioning and the stability of IMU gyro and accelerometer measurements are tightly coupled to provide an exceptional 3D navigation solution that is stable and continuously available, even through periods when satellite signals are blocked.

PwrPak7-E1 Features

  • SPAN-enabled enclosure featuring NovAtel’s tightly coupled GNSS+INS engine
  • 555 channel, all-constellation, multi-frequency positioning solution
  • Multi-channel L-Band supports TerraStar correction services
  • Commercially exportable IMU
  • Multiple communication interfaces for easy integration and installation
  • Built-in Wi-Fi support
  • Onboard internal storage
  • Can be paired with an external receiver to support ALIGN GNSS azimuth aiding for low dynamic applications


GPS Wavefront Generator

CRPA and Attitude Determination Receiver Testing

The CAST-5000 produces a single coherent wavefront of GPS RF signals to provide repeatable testing in the laboratory environment or anechoic chamber. The system generates up to seven independent, coherent simulations that reference a single point.With an intercard carrier-phase error of less than one centimeter, the CAST-5000 is extremely accurate.

The system generates a wavefront of GPS 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 bank of signal generator cards.

The CAST-5000 is the only Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA) tester that allows a full end-to-end test of the antenna system. The CRPA antenna, antenna electronics and the GPS receiver can be tested as a unit with or without radiating signals.

CAST-5000 Features

  • Generates single coherent wavefront of GPS
  • 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) motion generation capability
  • Complete SV constellation editing
  • Post-mission processing via ICD-GPS-150/153
  • 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 messag
  • Modeled selective availability
  • Time-tagged satellite events
  • Selectable host vehicle parameters

CAST Navigation,

GNSS Receiver

A next-generation high-precision module for robots, drones

The UM482 is an all-system multi- frequency high-precision heading module with a small footprint. It supports the satellite signals GPS L1/L2, BDS B1/ B2, GLONASS L1/L2, GALI LEO E1/ E5b and SBAS. It is designed for applications such as robot, drone, intelligent drive and mechanical control.

The UM482 GNSS RTK module adopts Unicore’s new-generation Nebulas II chip and UGypsophila real-time kinematic (RTK) algorithm. Based on high-performance data-sharing technology and super-simplified operation system of the Nebulas II chip, the UGypsophila RTK algorithm dramatically optimizes matrix processing. It can involve all satellites from GPS, BDS, GLONASS and Galileo in RTK and heading processing, shorten RTK and heading initialization time to 5 seconds and significantly improve the reliability and accuracy of RTK and heading.

Furthermore, the UM482 integrates the onboard micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) chip and U-Fusion integrated navigation algorithm, resulting in optimized continuity and reliability of accurate heading and positioning output in tough environments such as city canyons, tunnels and overpasses. Inputs of odometer and external higher performance inertial components are supported.

UM482 Features

  • 30 × 40-millimeter all-system multi-frequency high-precision heading module (SMD packaging)
  • Supports GPS L1/L2, BDS B1/B2, GLONASS L1/ L2, Galileo E1/E5b
  • 1-cm RTK positioning accuracy and 0.2-degree heading accuracy with 1-m baseline
  • Dual-antenna input with support of antenna signal detection
  • Supporting simultaneous output of heading and RTK positioning, 20-Hz data output rate
  • Adaptive recognition of RTCM input data format
  • Onboard MEMS integrated navigation

Unicore Communications Inc.,

Inertial Measurement Unit

Non-ITAR micro-electro-mechanical system IMU

The HG4930 is a very high-performance micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) based inertial measurement unit (IMU) designed to meet the needs of applications across various markets including agriculture, industrial equipment, robotics, survey/mapping, stabilized platforms, transportation, UAVs and UGVs.

With industry-standard communication interfaces, the HG4930 is easily integrated into a variety of architectures. The extremely small size, light weight and low power make the HG4930 ideal for most applications.

The HG4930 includes MEMS gyroscopes and accelerometers. It employs an internal environmental isolation system to attenuate unwanted inputs commonly encountered in real-world applications.

The internal isolation and other proprietary design features ensure the HG4930 is rugged enough to meet the needs of demanding users.

The HG4930 is not ITAR controlled. Its Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is 7A994.

Example Applications

  • Aiding a camera pod to track a desired object: For example, a television viewing enhancement systems used in sports broadcasting.
  • Integration with GPS/GNSS to navigate an object from point A to point B: IMU performance is key; errors grow quickly without GPS/GNSS (such as in forested areas, underwater, dense urban).
  • Dynamic antenna platform stabilization: IMU measures small perturbations of a platform under motion (including vibration and shock) and feeds those measurements into a control system that then corrects and stabilizes the platform; without an IMU, communication can be degraded or lost.
  • Robots: Enables robots to navigate indoors with other aiding sources (such as radar or lidar); similar concept to GPS/GNSS aiding.


GNSS RF Simulator

Supports restricted and classified signals from GPS, Galileo

The 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 (1ms), 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.

Spirent Federal Systems,

GNSS Simulator

Captures and replays GNSS signals at high resolution

The LabSat 3 Wideband record-and replay-device is small and battery-powered with a removable solid-state disk. It allows users to gather detailed, real-world satellite data and replay the signals on the bench.

Its recording bandwidth of 56 MHz allows for the capture of a wide range of live-sky satellite signals. Depending on the desired bandwidth, recording resolution can be set to 2, 4 or 6 bit. The GNSS frequency guide on the LabSat website shows exactly which signals can be recorded and at which resolution. It also has spare capacity for future planned signals.

Even with this increased capacity over the original LabSat 3, the new simulator remains easy to use: one-touch recording, no connection to PC required, battery powered for up to two hours, and with a removable 1-TB solid-state hard drive that can be replaced in no time, the LabSat 3 Wideband is convenient to use. It measures a compact 167 x 128 x 46 millimeters and weighs 1.2 kilograms.

Live-sky Signals Captured

LabSat 3 Wideband can record and replay the following signals:

  • GPS: L1 / L2 / L5
  • GLONASS: L1 / L2 / L3
  • BeiDou: B1 / B2 / B3
  • QZSS: L1 / L2 / L5
  • Galileo: E1 / E1a / E5a / E5b / E6
  • IRNSS: L5


Rubidium Frequency Standard

For any application requiring precision frequency

Stanford Research Systems (SRS) rubidium frequency standards have excellent aging characteristics, extremely low phase noise and outstanding reliability.

The FS725 benchtop instrument is designed for calibration and research and development (R&D) laboratories, or any application requiring a precision frequency standard, such as metrology laboratories.

The FS725 unit integrates a rubidium oscillator (SRS model PRS10), a low-noise universal AC power supply, and distribution amplifiers in a compact half-width 2U chassis. It provides stable and reliable performance, with an estimated 20-year aging of less than 5 x 10-9 and a demonstrated rubidium oscillator MTBF (mean time between failures) of more than 200,000 hours.

It has two 10-MHz outputs and one 5-MHz output with exceptionally low phase noise (–130 dBc/Hz at 10-Hz offset) and 1 second Allan Variance (<2 x 10-11). The FS725 can be phase-locked to an external 1-pps reference (like GPS) providing Stratum 1 performance. A 1-pps output is also provided that has less than 1 nanosecond of jitter, and can be set with 1-nanosecond resolution.

FS725 Features

  • 10-MHz and 5-MHz outputs
  • 20-year aging less than 0.005 ppm
  • Ultra-low phase noise (<–130 dBc/Hz at 10 Hz)
  • Built-in distribution amplifiers
  • 1 pps input and output
  • RS-232 computer interface

Stanford Research Systems,

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.