CAST Navigation

Better GNSS/INS Simulation Through User Interface (UI) Design

Commercial and military customers use CAST Navigation simulators in many contexts. Some need simple yet accurate verification of GNSS antenna performance. Others run scenarios modeling multiple surface, aerial, and space vehicles operating in complex radio-frequency environments.

One lesson we learned from meeting such varied expectations is how people interact with CAST simulators matters as much as the underlying technology. Our simulator solutions include a user interface that provides simple, at-a-glance scenario summaries while providing rapid access to the detailed configuration options that make CAST simulators so powerful. With scenario design complete, our 3D visualization engine improves project outcomes by revealing insights that analysis of the simulation’s numerical output may not uncover.

Cast Navigation

Simple Yet Detailed Configurability

GNSS reception quality is a confluence of technical, environmental, and adversarial factors. To create a realistic simulation scenario, you must control every contributing factor, from the performance of each satellite in view to the vehicle’s GNSS/INS configuration.

Our UI design provides layers of abstraction to make this complexity manageable. Detail configuration screens lie beneath summary screens. For example, the constellation editor’s summary displays the status of every satellite and lays the path to the constellation event configuration screen shown in Figure 1.

This screen lets you determine when each visible satellite in each constellation appears above the horizon during the scenario. Your control extends to a satellite’s performance:


Fig. 1 Dynamically changing GPS satellite performance

From the GNSS constellation configuration, you can proceed to configure other aspects of the scenario, including:

With so many variables contributing to a realistic GNSS/INS simulation, you could get lost in the many options CAST simulators can present. We devote careful attention to designing a UI that lets you harness this complexity quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

Visualizing GNSS/INS Simulations

Cast Navigation

Fig. 2 Model GNSS reception on or above Earth

CAST simulators include a 3D visualization engine that displays the simulated vehicle moving through the scenario in real time. Far from window dressing, these visualizations deliver insights that would be difficult to draw from the simulation’s settings or numerical output.

Observing the simulation in real time helps you confirm the scenario has been configured correctly. In Figure 2, you can see the state of signal reception by a simulated spacecraft. Each line represents the signal path from a GNSS satellite. One satellite, labeled PRN_16, appears in this view along with its trajectory during the scenario. A quick inspection provides another check that the satellite configuration is correct.

Observe simulation

Fig. 3 Observe simulation in real time

Visualizations can generate insights when GNSS/INS simulations support mission planning. For example, pilots may observe a simulated aircraft advance through a scenario as in Figure 3. They can see the terrain through which the aircraft flies as well as the relative motion of jammers’ spheres of influence. Throughout the simulation run, a panel displays the aircraft’s simulated avionics data. The pilots can draw insights based on their experience that feed back into the mission planning process.

Streamlining GNSS/INS Simulation in the Lab

CAST Navigation has delivered robust and accurate simulation solutions for over four decades. We apply this industry-leading heritage to what matters most: our customers’ experience. Our solutions can create GNSS conditions at any time, anywhere on Earth, in the convenience of your lab.

Beyond the simulation itself, ­­the customer experience extends to how CAST simulators help customers achieve their missions. We designed the CAST user interface to accelerate scenario design so customers can meet tight project schedules. You can easily access the most detailed configuration options without getting overwhelmed by our simulators’ complexity.

At the same time, customers need to perform the most robust simulation campaigns possible. Numbers can’t tell you everything. Our real-time 3D visualization engine generates intuitive perspectives that help refine your scenarios and produce better outcomes.

Visit CAST Navigation to learn more about how our powerful GNSS/INS simulation capabilities, scalable usability, and visual insights can support your projects.


Photos: Cast Navigation

This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Cast Navigation. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The GPS World editorial staff did not create this content.