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Testing Infinity: PNT testing for high-performance developers

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The infinity symbol in electric blue on a black background

Positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) is a complex field that deals with infinite circumstances affecting performance. Testing PNT to overcome these challenges is key to successful product development and validation.

The variables are endless: a course correction through a highway tunnel, a storm on the horizon, a satellite drifting from its orbit, or even the seemingly inconsequential passing by of a person in the street. Amidst these infinite circumstances, every millisecond and every millimeter carries weight.

The Challenge of Testing in the Field

Testing all these scenarios in the field, especially down to these minute details, is not just challenging but practically infeasible. The nature of most field testing means that, inherently, there is little-to-no control over the scenarios or the variables introduced to them. The key drawbacks of field testing can be summarised as:

  • Traceability – the ability to identify the source of errors or unexpected changes – is challenging at best

  • Repeatability – meaning scientific insights into iterative performance – are an impossibility

  • Cost – the amount of time and the number of runs needed to gather a representative dataset is, where even possible, prohibitive

This is where the importance of simulating the most realistic and flexible environments comes into play.

The Power of Simulation

Simulations allow for the controlled testing of an infinite number of scenarios. It could recreate an emergency stop of an autonomous vehicle on a crowded street during a solar maximum, or replicate the dynamic operations of hypersonic weapons systems in contested environments, and so much more. Simulation opens the door to infinite possibilities. Yet, a crucial question looms: How authentic are the results of these infinite scenarios?

Pioneering Realism

This is where Spirent can help. We've led the way in high fidelity simulation for nearly 40 years. While other testing solutions strive for realism, we're at the forefront, pioneering it. Our simulation tools deliver more realistic results, at faster speeds and with greater precision than any other solution in the market. This ensures realistic results from infinite scenarios, addressing the question of authenticity head-on.

The tenets we build our simulation systems around are the avoidance of all unwanted test artifacts introduced by the simulator, and the control inherent in being able to choose exactly what you want your device under test to see, and when. By meeting these requirements, users are able to assess performance under infinite conditions and be assured of the validity and deterministic nature of the results.

Testing Infinity with Precision and Authenticity

So, how does one test infinity? The answer is simple – with us. We provide the tools and expertise to simulate and test an infinite number of scenarios, delivering authentic and reliable results each time. Our simulation technology is not just about reproducing realistic conditions; it's about pioneering the future of PNT testing and pushing the limits of what's possible.

When it comes to PNT testing, we understand that every detail matters, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Our solutions are designed to account for this, ensuring that even the smallest variables are considered in the testing process.

The Journey to Testing Infinity

Get started today with a copy of our eBook: Test Infinity: How to create a realistic GNSS test environment in the lab. This comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights into creating a realistic GNSS test environment, setting you on the right path to mastering PNT integration and validation.

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