Microwave Journal

TestBench, January 2010: New GPS Receiver Verification Test Solution

January 13, 2010

This month, Agilent Technologies introduced GPS receiver verification software for its PXB baseband generator and channel emulator platform. The new Agilent N7609B Signal Studio for Global Navigation Satellite Systems software is the only 12-satellite, 24-channel signal simulator built on a high-performance, general-purpose signal generator.

Agilent's N7609B Signal Studio software plays a key role in enabling a reliable and repeatable test solution for verification and validation of GPS receivers. The software allows engineers to easily create real-time multi-satellite GPS signals and perform the tests required for full GPS receiver verification (e.g., Time to First Fix (TTFF), location accuracy and sensitivity). The real-time GPS signal capability allows satellite power and individual satellite visibility to be controlled while the signal is playing. GPS signals with calibrated AWGN also are available. A scenario generation and editing capability enables the creation of custom scenarios with either a stationary or moving GPS receiver with up to 24 channels of line-of-sight and multipath satellite signals. Other impairments, such as ionospheric and tropospheric attenuation, also can be included in the scenario generation process.

Agilent's N7609B software runs on the N5106A PXB Baseband Generator and Channel Emulator platform with an E4438C ESG or N5182A MXG Vector Signal Generator for RF upconversion. The PXB/MXG hardware platform provides a test solution allowing signal creation for most of today's wireless standards (e.g., WLAN, Bluetooth®, LTE and WiMAX(tm)), while having the flexibility to meet future signal creation requirements. The software supports a number of critical capabilities, including remote control of the PXB from another PC, marker and baseband IQ outputs, SCPI commands, and GigaLAN and GPIB connectivity.

In addition, the N7609B software with PXB/MXG can be combined with Agilent's 8960 Wireless Communications Test Set in the GS-9000 A-GPS Design Verification Test System for complete A-GPS pre-conformance test coverage. The solution supports 3GPP TS51.010/TS34.171 and 3GPP, GSM and CDMA2000 tests, as well as CTIA over-the-air (OTA) GPS testing.

"With GPS navigation technology becoming more common in everyday life, it is critical that R&D engineers have a solution with the right mix of performance and flexibility allowing them to quickly, reliably and cost-effectively perform GPS receiver verification tests," said Guy Séné, Vice President and General Manager of Agilent's Microwave & Communications Division. "Our new GPS software, with its ability to perform both basic and advanced GPS verification, is delivering the solution today's engineers demand. At the same time, the software's reliance on the PXB platform and its ability to be expanded to A-GPS, ensure that engineers have a solution capable of providing signals for future wireless standards."

Agilent's N5106A PXB Baseband Generator and Channel Emulator is a multifunction solution. In addition to creating real-time GPS signals, the PXB incorporates multi-channel baseband generation, real-time fading and signal capture in a single instrument. It features more than 20 configurations up to 4x2 MIMO and can be reconfigured in seconds. Developed for engineers designing, integrating and verifying wireless receivers, the PXB provides a comprehensive diagnostic toolset that makes the entire test process simpler and much more cost effective.