Why Multipath Should Matter to You

The effects of multipath cannot be ignored as they can compromise the performance and accuracy of any receiver design. Put simply, multipath refers to the phenomenon of radio frequency (RF) signals reaching the receiver via two or more routes. It is caused by the original signal being reflected or diffracted, typically by a building, geological feature or even water.

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Because of the wide variation in structures and media involved, the effects of multipath are wide-ranging. Multipath can be a problem for global navigation satellite receivers as it can cause the receiver to misinterpret the signal and return an inaccurate and unacceptable position.

There are a variety of options to mitigate the effects of multipath; these range from filtering techniques to antenna design. However, until the scale of the problem is established, through testing, no measures can be taken to alleviate the effects. Real world, also known as live-sky, testing of multipath is not a practical solution, it is unfeasible to isolate and quantify all the signals involved, and generating scenarios would likely involve extensive travel. This is where a GNSS simulator comes in; with a simulator you have the ability to run any number of fully controllable, repeatable scenarios, which recreate the effects of multipath.

Spirent offers undoubtedly the most comprehensive multipath testing available, with the level of detail tailored to your needs. Crucially in SimGEN™ (our flagship simulation software), with just a few clicks, you can add pre-generated statistical scenarios to mimic the effects of real world environments such as urban canyons, water or trees to your scenario. Meaning that you have full control over every variable, can systematically minimize the effects of multipath on your receiver, and consequently minimize the effects on the end user.

For more details on multipath, and mitigating its effects download our ebook; Testing Multipath Performance, alternatively, contact your local expert Spirent representative today.

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