The Importance of Static Navigation Accuracy in a GNSS Receiver

Of all the performance metrics for a GNSS receiver, navigation accuracy is probably the most important. More to the point, pinpoint static navigation accuracy is essential to the end user. And if he or she doesn't get the exact location fix expected when the receiver is powered up for the first time, there will be little confidence in the overall performance of the receiver.

Whether the initial “user test” takes place in the shop before purchase or at home when taking a new unit out of the box, the consumer has a reasonable expectation that the GNSS receiver will be able to work out its start position. So not only will he or she expect the correct map to be loaded, but also for the position fix to be displayed to the nearest metre – at worst. Any mistake at this stage and either the unit will not make it out of the shop or it will be returned for a refund!

Extensive testing of both the navigation circuitry and the user interface are essential in ensuring the navigation accuracy of any GNSS receiver design. And because there are such a large number of external factors that can impact on static navigation accuracy, it is essential that the tests be performed under controlled and repeatable conditions in the laboratory using a GNSS simulator. Only this will enable the designer to be sure that the design will perform properly, both under “ideal” conditions, and under the influence of these external interfering influences.

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