The development of a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology is ongoing with GNSS INS simulation devices at the center stage. The validation tools and procedures for field-testing are costly and time-consuming. That said, many manufacturers prefer laboratory tests. Nevertheless, the requirements are stringent and the results produced in controlled environments do not encompass real-world scenarios.
Technology keeps evolving and providing solutions to problems that people are experiencing every day. Satellite services and GPS tracking, for example, are extremely useful to businesses and the military. These technologies are products of many researchers’ imagination and high level of intelligence, curiosity, and creativity.
With the competition growing at a rapid pace, standing out is the primary goal of the manufacturers of GPS devices. They aim to outsmart competitors by making their products superior in different aspects, such as performance, functionality, and features. Testing is an important part of the process wherein different parameters are measured to determine how durable, reliable, and efficient a product is before launching it. It enables manufacturers to see if the device or system will function as expected in real-life situations.
An overview of testing using signal generators
Product developers are keen on finding testing tools for their new algorithms and receivers that can record and replay samples found in the real world. After all, they must guarantee that the products they will sell to consumers are validated. Testing is a necessary step before new generation smartphones, cameras, alarm systems, navigation tools, and telematics can be released for public consumption or use.
Commercially available hardware is capable of reproducing signals, constellations, and sources of interference. The real world presents various challenges at any given time, and testing must reproduce possible scenarios to challenge the new device and/or software. The ideal testing tool offers the much-desired combination of recording real signals, replaying signals, and signal simulation.
Key objectives of testing
Traditional testing reveals the operational capabilities of a GNSS device. However, it is also important to demonstrate not only fatal flaws but subtle issues as well. Testing is still limited in revealing subtle problems, and it is not possible to test the product in all possible locations the device may be used by the consumer. Nevertheless, top quality GNSS testing tools offer repeatable testing in varied conditions. Some devices provide testing parameters for different times at multiple places during a simulation.
As you finalize your product, ensure that it undergoes high-level testing already. If possible, devote time and resources to field-testing, especially if the scenario is necessary for the product type. Products that didn’t go through proper testing should not reach the customers, as this could spell trouble for your business. It may leave you dealing with financial losses due to claims and mandatory recall.
Testing reveals performance capabilities and system health. It also offers insights on flaws and possible challenges. It exposes problems with the design and performance, as well as provide an opportunity to plan specific improvements. Product developers must ensure testing is conducted on any GNSS/GPS product for the results to gain the public’s trust and endorsement.