5 Interesting Uses for GNSS Simulations

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Most of us don’t give satellites a second thought, although they are vital to the every-day functioning of our lives. This also applies to the GNSS.

In this article, we’re exploring all you need to know about the GNSS, GNSS simulations, and why they are important for our everyday life. Let’s dive in!

What Is GNSS?

The Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is a collection of satellites connected through a system. These satellites broadcast signals to users around the world to determine location, speed, and time. We depend on them for various functionalities, including life-critical systems.

These functionalities include (but are not limited to):

  • Timekeeping
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation
  • Military applications
  • And more.

Since we have come to rely heavily on GNSS, there are growing concerns about the reliability of its signals and unintentional electromagnetic interference. Enter GNSS simulations. 

What Is a GNSS Simulation?

The growing dependence on GNSS has made GNSS simulation increasingly important. These simulators provide an effective way to test the receivers of the GNSS and the systems that rely on the receivers. 

This allows manufacturers and integrators of GNSS receivers to ensure that everything is in proper working order. This means they function well in a variety of different scenarios and can solve problems that may affect the performance of the satellites. 

Luckily, simulator technology has become quite mature over the years, using algorithms and designs to provide invaluable data.

What Can GNSS Simulators Control?

GNSS simulations provide an environment for testing. They are different from live testing because they allow for full control over the signals and environmental conditions. 

This makes it easy to run many different kinds of tests to properly check the performance of the GNSS receivers. GNSS simulations give you control over: 

  • Time and location
  • Vehicle motion
  • Environmental conditions
  • Singal errors

Firstly, the simulators allow you to choose a date and time for any location around the world. You can test the satellites in an environment that has appeared in the past, present, and will appear in the future. 

Secondly, simulators can replicate the motion of the vehicle that carries the GNSS receivers. These typically include ships, cars, or planes. This allows you to test different routes and trajectories without ever leaving the lab. 

Thirdly, you can simulate any type of environmental condition that may impact the receiver. This includes the conditions of the atmosphere, obscurations, or interference signals. 

Fourthly, you can test how the receivers would react if various GNSS constellation signal errors would occur.

Why Are GNSS Simulations Important? 

The role of satellites is only going to become more important in the future. This is already clear by the growing amount of satellites placed in the lower orbit of the earth.

If we would use live testing for these satellites, then we would not be able to properly predict how the receivers would perform in various conditions. This leads to a higher rate of errors.

That’s why GNSS simulators are clearly the best practice for validating the performance of GNSS. If you are interested in more news and updates about the latest technologies, then head over to our blog!