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CRPA Testing: Achieve High-Performance GNSS Simulation in the Lab with Spirent

March 30, 2021

Ricardo Verdeguer Moreno

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The Spirent GSS9000 Series Advanced Multi-element Simulation System is uniquely engineered for the complex requirements of current and future CRPA system testing.

Controlled reception pattern antenna (CRPA) systems are the state of the art in maximizing reception of authentic GNSS signals while rejecting interference and false (spoofed) signals.

Technologies such as military aircraft, drones, and autonomous vehicles all rely on CRPA systems for reliable and accurate positioning even in interference-rich environments. To ensure the highest levels of reliability and integrity, CRPA systems must be thoroughly tested in a wide range of realistic scenarios, presenting significant challenges for design, engineering and integration teams.

Test challenges of CRPA systems

Combining sophisticated multi-element antennas with multi-GNSS receivers, advanced beamforming and/or null steering algorithms, and sometimes also inertial sensor fusion algorithms, CRPA systems are extremely complex and require extensive testing at both subsystem (receiver only) and system (antenna + receiver) levels.

Field testing is particularly challenging, given that permits are needed to introduce jamming or spoofing signals into the live environment, the environment is not controllable or repeatable, and signals are limited to those in view at the test location. Conducting trials on an outdoor range is also time consuming and often cost prohibitive.

For these reasons, lab-based simulation is the most effective, efficient and cost-optimal method of testing CRPA systems. For ultimate reliability, it’s essential to choose simulation equipment that’s designed to meet the unique challenges of CRPA testing.

State-of-the-art CRPA testing with Spirent’s GSS9000 Series Advanced Multi-Element Simulation System

Spirent has been developing high-performance GNSS signal simulation hardware and software for over 30 years, working closely with military, government, defense and space organizations to address their most rigorous and challenging test requirements.

Our GSS9000 Series Advanced Multi-element Simulation system is a state-of-the-art, integrated hardware and software system that supports coaxial RF testing of any multi-element CRPA system.

A powerful, flexible and future-proof solution that addresses even the most complex test requirements, the GSS9000 Series Advanced Multi-element GNSS Simulation system offers a broad, scalable and continually updated feature set, including:

Selecting and configuring a multi-element simulation system for CRPA testing is a non-trivial undertaking, requiring specialist knowledge and expertise. Spirent’s experienced Professional Services team are available to advise and assist with any CRPA testing challenges, including specifying, configuring and installing a Spirent GSS9000 Series Advanced Multi-element Simulation System to meet your specific requirements, and integrating the system with other elements of the wider test environment.

To find out more about unrivalled CRPA testing with Spirent, read our white paper, Characterizing CRPA and Other Adaptive Antennas.

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