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GPS Simulators & Their Applications

Space satellite orbiting earthRegardless of the type of GPS product a developer wants to set out in the market, testing is an essential aspect of the product’s service life. Testing gives an overview of the performance and reliability of the product. In typical circumstances, GPS equipment will be subject to interference, reflection, and obstruction. Thus, a developer should understand how the product would perform in real-world applications.

A developer must use a dynamic GPS simulator for product testing. The simulator will give an output of a radio signal, like that a satellite would produce, carrying information that the GPS equipment would have if it were in a real-world application.

The following are the three common types of simulators:

Full Constellation

These simulators can generate satellite signals. In addition to providing a trajectory file, these simulators can create an artificial signal in real time. Also, these simulators allow offline processing, which means that they require creating a re-playable data file.

GPS Engine

These simulators generate an output as that of a GPS engine but as an NMEA message. To utilize this simulator, you must remove the GPS engine and inject signals into the remaining circuit. These simulators are available in software form, which is useful for individuals who do not need to monitor the exact performance of actual GPS engines.

GPS Replay

These simulators first sample the radiofrequency signal at a high rate. The simulator will further store the data in hard drives in a digital form. You can then replay the radiofrequency signal in a virtual GPS engine to obtain the initial signal.

A multi-element GPS simulator offers a developer the ability to relay satellite signals in GPS equipment without going outdoors. These tools also make GPS testing easier and more effective with nearly equal parameters as actual GPS equipment.

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