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“It is important for us to keep our GNSS products constantly up to date”

Oct 2021 | No Comment

Dr. Guenter Heinrichs

Head of Client Solutions, Business Development, IFEN GmbH

"With IFEN’s NCS NOVA GNSS simulator customers can automatically generate the new Galileo signal capabilities” – Please elaborate.

The NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator is a highly capable, powerful and easy to use satellite navigation testing and R&D device. A recent key enhancement to the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator is comprehensive support of new Galileo OS signal message improvements on E1B. These Galileo improvements are aimed at reducing the cold-start Time-To-First- Fix (TTFF) of a GNSS receiver by reduced clock and ephemeris data (redCED) transmission. By enabling real-time simulation of the Galileo OS message improvements, the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator expands a user’s Galileo signal test capability.

Once the relevant Galileo Interface Control Documents (ICD’s) are available the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator’s signal capability will be enhanced to fully support the new Galileo E1B OS-Navigation Message Authentication (OS-NMA) and Galileo E6B High Accuracy Service (HAS) capabilities.

Please mention few key features of NCS NOVA GNSS simulator that set it apart from the other GNSS simulators in the market?

Almost all GNSS simulators in the market today use the classic FPGA-based design approach on the hardware side. In contrast, IFEN GmbH, with its 3rd generation GNSS RF Navigation Constellation Simulator (NCS) product, is pursuing a much more modern, innovative and flexible design approach.

The hardware platform of the NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator is based on a completely new Software Defined Radio (SDR) design approach. The modular SDR architecture allows the simultaneous simulation of up to 16 different GNSS signals by using up to 128 channels, with additional, software definable embedded multipath channels per Line-of-Sight (LoS) signal, on up to two independent RF outputs in one RF signal generation chassis.

Due to the exceptional flexibility provided by the SDR design approach of this simulator the testing requirements of our customers are met with the minimum of equipment, facilitating logistics and reducing both the initial purchase price and the cost of ownership. As test requirements change the NOVA may be easily updated, without the need to return hardware to the factory, ensuring the Simulator is able to meet all current and future test needs.

What is the significance of release timing of NCS NOVA GNSS simulator?

Customer service is very important at IFEN GmbH and the satisfaction of our customers is therefore our top priority. We feel it as our obligation to constantly improve and further develop our products for the benefit of our valued customers. It is therefore particularly important to us to keep our GNSS products constantly up to date and to make the respective innovations and improvements available to our customers as soon as possible, after the publication of new GNSS ICD versions. Thanks to the scalability and flexibility of the modern SDRbased approach, our NCS NOVA GNSS simulator can easily be upgraded by customers with appropriate software / firmware updates, without any hardware changes being necessary.

Does NCS NOVA GNSS simulator support all the GNSS constellations? Please give few examples of different GNSS applications it supports.

Yes, the IFEN NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator supports all GNSS constellations, such as GPS L1/L1C, L2/L2C, L5 ǀ GLONASS L1, L2 ǀ Galileo E1, E5ab, E6 ǀ BeiDou B1I, B1C, B2I, B2a, B2b, B3I ǀ NavIC L5, S-band ǀ QZSS L1/L1C, L2C, L5 and SBAS L1, L5. Multiple constellations and frequencies may be simulated simultaneously. The NCS NOVA GNSS Simulator is also capable of simulating signals at multiple antenna locations simultaneously. These capabilities allow the NOVA to provide test capability for virtually any GNSS application including Space, Aviation, Automotive (including autonomous driving testing) Maritime, Railway, Survey, Machine Control and many others, within one single Simulator.

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