Inside the world’s most advanced PNT simulator: 8 key features of PNT X

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Spirent PNT X offers greater performance, more signals and more capability than any other PNT simulation platform. Here’s a guide to eight of its most powerful features.

With many applications demanding greater PNT precision and resilience, and moving “beyond GNSS” to incorporate new signals and sensors, Spirent has launched PNT X—a revolutionary new PNT simulation platform that combines unprecedented scalability, flexibility and fidelity to simulate ultra-realistic dynamic PNT environments.

You can read about the high-level benefits of the PNT X in the launch blog, but for this blog I want to dive deeper into some of the key features that are available with PNT X.

8 powerful features that revolutionize PNT test capability

Each of these features is designed for PNT developers and integrators who need to test more complex functionality, faster, and with a higher degree of confidence than ever before. Together, they represent a commitment to this new paradigm in PNT.

SimIQ spatial awareness: A new solution for signal architects and developers seeking to broadcast custom waveforms in the lab. For the first time, SimIQ spatial awareness automatically applies realistic signal effects to user-defined I/Q files, for unprecedented realism in lab testing. SimGEN adds characteristics such as power level offsets, signal delays and Doppler shift to transmitted signals according to the relative position of transmitter and receiver within a dynamic scenario.

3D terrain modeling: A new 3D scenario tool with real-time visualization brings the test range into the lab, allowing test scenarios to be run in spatially-realistic environments. Users can import their own 3D maps or use pre-loaded maps of cities and landscapes around the world, generating realistic obscuration and multipath signatures. The tool visualizes the environment for real-time insight into the effects of the physical environment on signal reception. The 3D scene is applied to all RF generated—including, for instance, geolocated jamming transmitters generating novel waveforms from user-defined I/Q files.

Realistic LEO orbit modeling: Ultra-realistic LEO orbital models replicate complex rotational effects and satellite parameters such as drag coefficient, mass and cross-section area. PNT X can be used to generate novel and established signals from LEO PNT constellations, including Xona Pulsar, making it ideal for both receiver developers and constellation architects.

S-band support: For developers and integrators looking to use some regional satellite systems and certain alternative PNT solutions, including lunar PNT applications, PNT X supports the simulation of S-band signals. New internal upconverters allow PNT X to generate a broader range of signals than ever before, while maintaining the fidelity and performance expected from Spirent.

Powerful NAVWAR test capabilities: An enhanced dynamic range allows PNT X to accommodate high-power interference transmitters and spoofers alongside low-power GNSS signals, providing an increased J/S ratio for realistic navigation warfare scenarios. Continuous dynamic range of 140 dBs also enables full power level characterization of the transmitter across the range, meaning jammers in dynamic scenarios can be seen from low level noise through to high power as the vehicle under test approaches the source.

Simplified CRPA testing: PNT X offers an intuitive, configurable interface for defining controlled reception/radiation pattern antenna (CRPA) systems, easily facilitating changes and data analysis based on specific user needs.

Industry-first GPS RMP support: Regional military protection (RMP) is an anti-jamming capability that will be available on the new GPS III satellites currently under construction. Its steerable, narrow-beam military code (M-Code) signal will allow U.S. and allied forces to operate much closer to interference without experiencing GPS service disruption. PNT X is the first simulation platform to support RMP signals, enabling authorized developers to test modernized GPS user equipment (MGUE) before live signals are available.

100 kHz update rate for spinning vehicles: With motion data represented at RF unlike any other platform, PNT X can realistically model highly dynamic vehicle trajectories, generating a true representation of real-world performance. An optional update rate of 100 kHz allows users to better model the pseudorange changes of fast-spinning vehicles such as larger projectiles, while a standard 2 kHz update rate allows dynamic applications of all kinds to be tested with unprecedented realism, including in hardware in the loop (HIL) environments.

The ultimate test platform for mission-critical PNT systems

With more demands being placed on PNT-reliant systems than ever before, the industry is responding by designing ever more powerful, robust and resilient PNT equipment.

That equipment must be tested to a high degree of certainty and precision at every stage of the development process. That can only happen by creating complex and realistic test scenarios in the lab, something that was not easily achievable before now.

With the launch of Spirent PNT X, designers and developers can now benefit from the world’s most advanced test platform for mission-critical systems and NAVWAR robustness, built on 40 years of Spirent experience at the forefront of PNT test and measurement.

If you’d like to learn more about Spirent PNT X, watch the video or visit the website.




Ricardo Verdeguer Moreno
Ricardo Verdeguer Moreno

Product Line Manager

Ricardo Verdeguer Moreno works as Product Line Manager at Spirent Communications providing Positioning, Navigation and Timing solutions for high-end applications. Ricardo is an aerospace engineer, who graduated with honours at Cranfield University with an MSc in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control. His market experience lies within the global automotive, drone and government segments.