Validated Low-Cost Wavefront Integrated Threat Simulator

Gregory Reynolds, Adam Simmons, Laurie Joiner

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Evolving global navigation satellite system (GNSS) threats are becoming a concern for all unmanned aerial systems (UAS) dependent upon GNSS aided navigation. More and more UAS platforms are considering integration of GNSS anti-jam (AJ) electronics and controlled radiation pattern antenna (CRPA) arrays to mitigate threats and ensure mission success. Due to restrictions and excessive costs for live-sky range testing, evaluation of these AJ systems requires specialized lab equipment and software to replicate the threats in dynamic environments. A test capability has been developed and validated, providing the test community with a cost-effective approach for evaluating AJ systems [1]. The test capability, referred to as the wavefront integrated threat simulator (WITS), utilizes a core architecture with mechanical tap-delay lines [2] and flexible personal computer interface options. Its expandability provides a range of simulated radio frequency (RF) antenna-element channels and capabilities with variable cost. The chief contribution of this paper lies in its calibration procedure which has been developed to minimize the aggregate angle of arrival (AoA) error for the GPS L1 frequency and the analytical analysis of the AoA error region. The WITS can be configured for a simple test configuration using a 4-channel system for $11,000 and may be expanded up to an N-channel configuration with high fidelity signal representation (i.e., Doppler, macro RF-path simulation with micro per-element calibrated delay ranges). The WITS validation includes per-channel calibration tables, per-channel theoretical phase contribution to angle-of-arrival (AoA) versus time, system level AoA error region analysis, AoA Multiple Signal Classification (MUSIC) estimate validation, output power requirements (potentially >120 dB Jamming to Signal ratio), and overall system latency. The modular design allows for user selection of appropriate fidelity and ensures a successful integration and evaluation of a GPS AJ system on multiple platforms and HWIL environments.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting
May 1 - 4, 2017
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 814 - 831
Cite this article: Reynolds, Gregory, Simmons, Adam, Joiner, Laurie, "Validated Low-Cost Wavefront Integrated Threat Simulator," Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2017, pp. 814-831.
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