Synchronized operation of simultaneous, multiple, and wideband is the foundation of various new RF systems in a diverse spectrum of operations from Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) communications to electronic warfare systems.
Multiple Challenges Addressed Simultaneously
Initially, a significant challenge to overcome in a multi-channel system is a reliable and steadfast triggering mechanism that guarantees that all channels start acquiring instantaneously. Second, achieving phase coherence and alignment systems through maintaining the phase and aptitude relationship across the entire bandwidth is a consistent challenge. Also, creating a real-time system with in-line processing of sample poses an extra challenge for performance output. Further, the acceleration of RF research by saving multi-channel RF data for later analysis and generation. Finally, a key identified challenge is optimizing lab space and reducing power consumption.
Correctly understanding the complex and various obstacles enables engineers and users to integrate an architecture that undertakes these challenges concurrently.
Addressing the Challenges of Multi-Channel Phase-Aligned RF systems
Engineers apply the record and playback systems in many applications. These applications range from receiver tests, automated test equipment to testing specific environmental scenario stimulations, and radar research. Each of them offers a particular use, and engineers utilize them for various reasons.
An architecture to address the challenges and best practices approach ensures system synchronization, phase unity, and creation of multi-channel, real-time configurations.
RF transceiver options range from RF vector signal generators and analyzers to software-defined radio platforms like the USRP. These transceivers communicate to RAID volumes through a high-speed data bus, enabling the record and playback system. The storage options range from a singular hard drive to high-speed RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) volumes. LabVIEW system design software allows in-line processing IP, viewing recorded samples offline, and viewing samples during a recording session.
Improving GNSS Simulation and Field Testing
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) find use in various industries like agriculture, aviation, maritime, and rail. Its wide use is because GNSS technology has improved significantly, providing accuracy, availability, and integrity. On the contrary, GNSS testing challenges have increased with the average selling price decline, making test efficiency critical to success.
Multi-constellation and multi-frequency supports are finding increasing use in today’s market. Additionally, GNSS’s connectivity is further increasing because of Reduce Time to First Fix (TTFF), increased precision, and offers redundancy with complementary precision techniques such as cellular-based positioning, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi base stations. GNSS testing’s additional test requirement must be its compatibility with all wireless standards, including those stated earlier.
Further, there are growing concerns about critical application interferences, which has led to intensifying research to mitigate these limitations. The interference comes mainly in three forms:
- Unintentional interference: be in-band or out-of-band.
- Intentional interference: jamming and spoofing.
- Natural interference: ionospheric scintillation, solar bursts, and other factors.
These interferences have driven GNSS device manufacturers to better offer multi-frequency solutions to remove natural interference such as atmospheric error.
Another contributing factor to interference is the weak GNSS signal because the L1 signal received on earth stands at -160 dBW, making it vulnerable to outside intrusions.
Generating user-defined signals and Record and Playback real-world signals to improve performance against interference is vital. GNSS test solutions must be able to provide user-defined interference signals and the ability to record and playback.
In conclusion, to overcome the defined testing challenges, GNSS manufacturers must integrate multiple domains and improve performance against interference while lowering final testing costs.