How to test Jamming & assess PNT integrity against Jamming?

Why should we care about Jamming?

Due to an ever-increasing reliance on GNSS in position, navigation, and timing (PNT) applications, ensuring its stability and reliability has become crucial. However, with wireless transmissions becoming more common than ever, and hardware capable of GPS jamming becoming more accessible and affordable, GNSS signals -due to their weak power levels- can be easily disrupted by unintentional or intentional jamming attacks.

With the emergence of NAVWAR, GNSS jamming is regarded as a major threat which jeopardizes the public order and the safety of civil & military transportation, such as planes, ships, and special convoys. It also causes significant harm in safety-critical applications such as civil aviation or self-driving smart vehicles.

This problematic calls for the need to assess the impact of interferences and jamming attacks on GNSS receivers, before they are integrated to larger systems.

How to assess PNT integrity against Jamming?

In-field tests are one method for determining the impact of interference signals on GNSS receivers. Although this method allows you to test your receiver in realistic test environments, it has several shortcomings:

  • The low repeatability of the environmental factors which cause unintentional jamming
  • The need to acquire solutions capable of GNSS jamming to assess reliability under jamming attacks
  • The diverse types of interferences (CW, NB, PCW, WB, PWB, MS, etc.) which can lead to PNT miscalculations and the incapacity to generate all of them in real life conditions
  • The low or difficult control over the testing conditions and interferer characteristics (waveform, position, dynamics, etc)
  • The need to test under the present and detected satellites and no other regional constellations or satellite configurations
  • The cost related to resources and equipment transportation to field test locations

Another -much more effective- solution to test jamming impact on navigation integrity is to use a GNSS simulator with integrated interferences & jamming signals generation capacity, allowing GNSS system performance & integrity testing under repeatable laboratory conditions.

Using a GNSS simulator for jamming impact assessment

With the right GNSS simulator, you can reproduce realistic testing environments to determine the impact of Jamming and unintentional interferences on your GNSS receiver. Through only one RF channel, you will be able to generate as many interferences and jamming signals as you need and manually position them on the map, based on your scenario and testing needs. Moreover, you can configure your interferer’s power level and center frequency, with a dedicated frequency offset for each of the generated interference signals. The jammer’s attitude and dynamics can also be configured to meet the ones of the simulated mobile.

To evaluate the performance of GNSS receivers and compare simulation results to real-word environments, Record & Playback systems can be used at your designated test location, to capture the entire signal spectrum.

You may then replay the recording on your system in the lab to completely assess how your receiver functions in a real-world situation. Because you are constantly testing under the same conditions, using an RPS saves time and money while also increasing the dependability of your test findings.

How can M3 Systems help?

M3 Systems offers a fully integrated All-in-One testing solution for GNSS. Thanks to a versatile SDR approach based on NI (National Instruments) HW platforms, StellaNGC provides both GNSS simulation and GNSS Record & Playback functionalities.

For more information on how to use StellaNGC to assess the integrity of your GNSS receivers against jamming, or which M3 Systems solutions are best for your needs, contact and visit M3 Systems