A method for testing GPS receivers for ionospheric scintillation robustness has been implemented using a GPS signal simulator and a statistical model that captures the characteristics of scintillation relevant to receiver performance. This technique will help GNSS equipment manufacturers and users prepare for the approaching solar maximum by enabling repeatable receiver performance tests under realistic scintillation conditions. Ionospheric scintillation can impair the performance of phase tracking loops in GNSS receivers by introducing deep amplitude fades and abrupt phase changes in a signal. A statistical model has been developed that accurately recreates these effects by shaping the complex spectrum rather than treating phase and amplitude individually. Generated scintillation histories have been incorporated into the output of a GPS signal simulator so that any compatible receiver can be evaluated without modification. Such a hardware-in-the-loop approach provides a controlled test environment and the ability to characterize receiver performance statistically by running many experiments. It expands the range of possible test conditions beyond those available during field testing. The method is simple to implement, and its value has been demonstrated by a variety of tests applied to four different receivers.


Cite and download the paper:
Hinks, J.C., T.E. Humphreys, B.W. O'Hanlon, M.L. Psiaki, P.M. Kintner, Jr., "Evaluating GPS Receiver Robustness to Ionospheric Scintillation",? Proceedings of ION GNSS, The Institute of Navigation, Savannah, Georgia, 2008.