Did you know that people have built technology just to mess around with your navigational systems? Manufacturers have to update their designs year after year to make them more reliable, cheaper, and resistant to interference. This can be a tricky process because there are already a ton of variables working together to make satellite navigation reliable.
Keep reading to find out what protections companies have to put into a GNSS receiver in 2022.
Global Positioning and How It Works
A modern GPS relies on receiving position information from a number of satellites in orbit. In the industry, they talk about a satellite constellation, which is simply a grouping of satellites connected to a receiver at a given time. This system is called a global navigational satellite system (GNSS), and GPS is merely a variant of a GNSS.
A GPS determines its location in real-time by calculating measuring the distance between itself and four or more GNSS satellites. It needs to receive range information from these satellites, which is why it has a GNSS receiver. These transmissions are made of signals sent at specific radio frequencies.
Challenges That Modern GNSS Receivers Need to Address
Modern militaries and even well-funded terror groups have technology that can disrupt or neutralize a GPS. To stay competitive, manufacturers need to build units fit to counter these efforts.
1. Signal Jamming
The oldest method that disrupts a receiver is called GNSS jamming. An RF jammer finds the frequency the receiver is looking for and emits a more powerful signal at that frequency. This signal blocks the true signal being sent, and the receiver can no longer function.
Units like the Cast Navigation jammer are examples of hardware that performs this task. To overcome this, GNSS receivers need to be able to operate at multiple different frequencies.
GNSS spoofing also relies on fake signals to hinder a receiver. However, spoofing doesn’t simply block out the true signal. A transmitter poses as a GNSS satellite and then sends incorrect information to the receiver
A navigation system receiving false information will give the reader a confused image of where they are positioned. This renders the information unreliable. This can even cause autonomous drones to fly off course and get destroyed.
To protect against spoofing, GNSS receivers need to rely on more than one satellite constellation, multiple channels per satellite, as well as stationary information from lidars and cameras.
3. Reducing Size, Weight, Power, and Cost
A GNSS receiver that can detect and process information from more satellites and alternative sources of location data is more complex. Manufacturers have to construct units with an ever-increasing number of parts.
Using cheaper materials can bring costs down, but this decreases the unit’s robustness. Reducing a receiver’s size or power draw may require the removal of a module or two. Weight reduction could make the product bendy or brittle.
Producing a receiver that can handle modern challenges is difficult when you want to save on price, weight, size, and power requirements. This is the manufacturer’s biggest challenge.
Getting cut off from necessary information, or getting the wrong information, can lead to all kinds of disasters. If you found our article on the challenges facing GNSS receivers informative and interesting, you’ll love the rest of our tech blog. Keep reading to find out more interesting facts about the tech world today.