GNSS Receiver Integration: Not Just the sum of the Parts

The ability to integrate a GNSS receiver into an end product offers new possibilities for manufacturers in a wide range of both consumer and industrial markets. However, designers of such products need to be aware that even the most highly integrated GNSS receiver module is not a “fit and forget” component. As with any radio frequency system, there are design rules that must be followed, and even then the interaction of the receiver with the other functions of the product can create some surprising results.

Although radio frequency design is not the “black art” it was once considered, the design rules are inevitably more complex than for digital design. Even a slight failure to follow the rules can lead to poor performance, and as far as the end user is concerned “close but no cigar” is not acceptable. Worse still, once a design has been characterised and accepted, seemingly small variations in manufacturing tolerance, or a purchasing manager saving a few pennies by substituting a cheaper component can throw the performance right out the window.

The only guarantee of continued product quality and reliable performance is 100% functional testing of the finished product. And that will mean integrating a GNSS simulator in the production test setup. Fortunately, Spirent's production test simulators have been developed with the demands of manufacturing in mind.


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