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Introducing PNT X: Our most powerful and flexible PNT simulator ever


The PNT landscape is getting more complex, with new signals, new threats, and greater need for resilience. Spirent’s new PNT X test platform makes testing complex solutions simpler.

Positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) are critical capabilities in an ever-growing range of systems – from military drones to communications satellites, and from autonomous cars to crewless container ships. Even lunar landers are now equipped with GNSS receivers.

And while global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) like GPS were once the default source of space-based PNT, we’re now seeing alternative PNT constellations launching into low earth orbit (LEO), in addition to a range of ground-based sources of PNT data. At the same time, innovation in multi-sensor positioning systems is helping to ensure maximum resilience and integrity in critical applications and environments.

PNT test needs are becoming more complex

For designers, developers and integrators of PNT signals and equipment, these developments bring new opportunities, but also increased demand for accuracy, integrity and resilience.

Rigorous testing is more important than ever, but with more functionality to test, the need for specialist lab equipment mounts up. Assessing the impact of evolving threats like jamming and spoofing, meanwhile, requires either a lot of time on test ranges or the ability to realistically re-create complex threat conditions in the lab.

A next-generation test platform for next-generation PNT systems

To meet these fast-evolving needs, Spirent has developed a next-generation test platform that creates new possibilities and makes complex PNT testing simpler and faster. Spirent PNT X is the culmination of 40 years of expertise and innovation in PNT test and measurement, and has been developed in close collaboration with leading aerospace and defense organizations.

Four key benefits for designers, developers and integrators

Representing a major leap forward in the lab-based testing of PNT, PNT X offers four key benefits to systems designers, developers and integrators: powerful performance, unrivalled realism, technological simplicity, and high flexibility for testing complex threat scenarios.

Powerful performance

PNT X delivers the expected high-fidelity emulation of current and planned signals from all GNSS constellations and augmentation systems, in all frequency bands and encompassing both civil and encrypted signals.

In addition, PNT X brings enhanced capacity, supporting even the most complex test scenarios with no degradation in performance. It also includes out-of-the-box support for:

  • New LEO PNT constellations, for integrated testing with AltNav signals alongside or in place of GNSS signals

  • Custom signals supplied as I/Q files, enabling signal architects and developers to test future signals and devices easily and cost-effectively in the lab – supporting innovation and accelerating time to market

  • GPS Regional Military Protection (RMP) signals (for authorized users), allowing modernized GPS user equipment (MGUE) to be tested and integrated with RMP long before the live signals are available.


Unrivalled realism

PNT X offers a wealth of new functionality to bring even more realism into testing – speeding up test cycles by enabling more testing to be done in the lab rather than the field. Functionality included as standard in the PNT X includes:

  • Enhanced orbit modeling, allowing the unique characteristics of LEO orbits – such as perturbations caused by atmospheric drag, the inconsistent gravitational field of Earth, and the impacts of other celestial bodies – to be ultra-realistically reproduced.

  • New 3D environment modeling capabilities, allowing test scenarios to be run in spatially-realistic environments. As well as providing visual feedback on the test scenario, this enables realistic obscuration and multipath signatures to be applied to any transmitter in the scenario.

  • A new SimIQ spatial awareness capability, enabling the realistic reproduction of user-defined signals from I/Q files into dynamic scenarios. SimIQ spatial awareness applies key signal effects such as power levels and Doppler shift according to scenario dynamics, enabling highly realistic testing using an infinite range of signals.

  • A super-fast 2kHz update rate as standard, allowing vehicle models to be updated more often during simulation, enabling more accurate trajectory modeling for dynamic vehicles.

Technological simplicity

Rather than investing in different platforms for different PNT and interference sources, PNT X enables engineers to generate a vast range of signals, waveforms and scenarios from a single, compact unit, with fine-grained control over every parameter. This not only reduces expenditure on test equipment, but also frees up space in the lab and reduces the need for expertise or training in multiple platforms.

At the same time, our open architecture simplifies third-party integrations, making it easier and faster to build hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbeds for complex test scenarios. And for over-the-air testing of controlled reception pattern antenna (CRPA) systems, PNT X offers an easy-to-use interface that brings unprecedented simplicity and control to our industry-leading CRPA test capabilities.

NAVWAR flexibility

PNT threats are evolving, with more nation states and other actors engaging in navigation warfare (NAVWAR) that can also disrupt civilian and commercial operations. Today’s mission-critical vehicles and equipment may encounter deliberate jamming and spoofing in sophisticated combinations which previously have been challenging to reproduce realistically in the lab.

PNT X brings new flexibility to jamming and spoofing simulation, with combined high and continuous dynamic range. By enhancing the maximum output power level to accommodate high-power interference transmitters and spoofers alongside GNSS, the PNT X enables an increased jammer-to-signal (J/S) ratio suitable for realistic navigation warfare scenarios. At the same time, a continuous dynamic range of 140 dB can support rapid variations in signal power, enabling scenarios like a high-velocity vehicle approaching then passing several interference transmitters at varying distances.

An industry-first platform for testing beyond GNSS

As positioning, navigation and timing systems move beyond GNSS, PNT X is the first platform to enable powerful yet simple testing of complex multi-PNT systems in realistic scenarios.

In a nutshell, with PNT X, designers, developers and integrators of critical PNT technologies benefit from:

  • More stringent testing with less lab technology

  • Faster time to market by bringing more of the test regime into the lab

  • Shorter development timescales for incorporating new sensors and signals

  • Confidence that new products can be shown to perform to specification

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

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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.