Why would anyone use a GPS simulator? If they want to do any testing, simply sticking the antenna out of the window and attaching it to the receiver seems fine. That’s all good and well, but for industries that require a rigorous GPS test environment, such as aviation, the government, and the military, live sky testing has some serious limitations that only a simulator can fulfill.
A GPS signal simulator provides an effective, efficient means to test receivers and systems. According to the experts at CAST Navigation, it emulates the environment and allows simplification of the task by providing the ability to select from a range of pre-configured scenarios. It models vehicle and satellite motion, atmospheric effects, and signal characteristics, allowing accurate comparisons after data collection and analysis.
Other than this, why is a GPS simulator better than simply sticking the antenna out or better than live sky testing?
Allows Complete Control Over Scenarios
A GPS simulator allows total control over all areas of testing scenarios, including environmental conditions and constellation signals. This is important because fine-tuning a system parameter can often demand almost completely controlled manipulation of the test conditions. With a live testing, you can only control the physical location of the test antenna.
Provides Repeatable Testing
When a GPS receiver test highlights weaknesses in the design, normally you should make changes to the design with a view to improving it. And to confirm if those improvements have been made, you need to repeat the same exact test.
This is only possible with a GPS simulator. With live sky, it’s impossible to make sure the next tests are subject to the same exact conditions as the previous ones.
The old antenna-out-the-window method of testing isn’t really reliable; but live sky testing is impractical and unsafe, too. Fortunately, a GPS simulator gives you the middle ground.