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LabVIEW toolkit does low-cost GPS testing

Posted: 18 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:graphical system design? LabVIEW? GPS receiver testing?

National Instruments has announced the NI GPS Toolkit for LabVIEW, an extension of the graphical system design environment that expands the NI RF PXI platform to include multi-satellite GPS signal simulation.

Using NI LabVIEW software to create waveforms that simulate up to 12 satellites (C/A codes in the L1 band), engineers can test receiver characteristics such as sensitivity, time to first fix (TTFF) and position accuracy with the NI PXIe-5672 RF vector signal generator. "The GPS Toolkit is a highly capable, easy-to-use solution for simulating a GPS environment, which gives us complete control of the simulated receiver position," said Leonardo Bonanomi, test solutions manager for services for electronic manufacturing. "This toolkit, together with NI TestStand and NI LabVIEW software, helps us easily build flexible and scalable automated test systems for GPS receivers."

With the new toolkit, engineers can use a combination of simulated and recorded GPS waveforms as a comprehensive, low-cost solution for receiver design validation and verification. By recording live GPS signals off the air with an NI PXI-5661 RF vector signal analyzer and an NI PXI-5690 pre-amplifier (low-noise amplifier), engineers can capture GPS signals with natural impairments that a receiver would observe in the real world. They also can generate both simulated and recorded signals with the NI PXIe-5672 RF vector signal generator, by continuously streaming GPS waveforms from hard disk. With a 2Tbyte RAID hard drive option, engineers can generate up to 12.5mins of non-repeating simulated waveform or 25hrs of continuous recorded GPS signal to test how the receiver responds to a broad range of circumstances.

Engineers can combine the GPS Toolkit with the NI Modulation Toolkit for LabVIEW, NI TestStand test management software and PXI RF modular instrumentation for a complete low-cost production test solution. Because PXI modular instrumentation is purely software-defined, the same PXI system can test wireless devices that use other standards such as RDS, Wi-Fi, GSM, W-CDMA, Bluetooth and DVB. PXI measurement systems offer a lower cost, more flexible and higher throughput solution compared to traditional instrumentation in production test applications. For multi-protocol test, PXI offers greater cost savings.

The NI GPS Toolkit for LabVIEW is priced from $1,999.

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