SDX Release 17.8 is now out

Adds advanced interference simulation, Gaussian noise, and more

Freshly out from our coding lab, here’s the latest update to Skydel SDX.

While it’s often a quiet time for many, our team of engineers were busy at work during the “lazy days of summer” producing a brand new release of SDX with a host of new features, including a big one that we have been dropping hints about for a while.

Advanced Jammers Simulation

The “piece de resistance” of this new release is the addition of advanced interference capabilities to SDX.

Why is this a breakthrough? The conventional way of testing GNSS interference uses a hodgepodge of hardware and cables in all directions, is complicated to set up, and is still somewhat limited in functionality. We’ve covered this before if you want the details.

On the other hand, SDX already uses GPU-accelerated computing to create GNSS signals. The next logical step was to add interference generation. That’s what Advanced Jamming is about: a unique way to leverage the power of the GPU/SDR combo to create an unheard of way to simulate interferences.

With SDX’s Advanced Jamming package, you can:

Create user-defined waveforms. Chirp, CW, BOC, AWGN, BPSK, and pulse interference modulation are supported and can be combined at will to create custom, complex interference waveforms.

Custom user-defined waveform created with SDX Advanced Jammers

Create multiple real-time jammers. Create a single or multiple jammer transmitter(s) with user-defined waveforms. Up to a hundred interferences can be generated in real time.

Add dynamics to transmitters. Create more realistic jammers for your simulations; SDX’s dynamic jammers can change position relative to the receiver as the simulation progresses. Their power levels are defined from the transmitter’s point of view. During the simulation, SDX automatically calculates the resulting signal at the receiver antenna in real-time and takes into account the transmitter antenna pattern, the propagation loss, and the receiver antenna pattern. The transmitter, like the simulated receiver, has six degrees of freedom. Furthermore, the trajectory may even be defined in real-time using the hardware-in-the-loop API.

This animation shows the effects of a moving jammer on a GNSS receiver trying to track the simulated position. Click to zoom.

Use simple transmitters. Create simpler transmitters whose power level is defined from the receiver point of view (as if attached to the receiver)

There’s no need for additional hardware. Generate jammer signals with SDX and generate the RF with your SDR. For example, create an upper band GNSS constellation on RF port A and a jammer for this band on port B, all with a single SDR. Join two SDR together to create a complex jammer setup.

Advanced jamming is completely integrated into SDX. There’s no fuss involved and definitely no bridges or half-integrated features requiring complicated configuration. Simply create interference transmitters within SDX, assign them signals & trajectories, and watch them interact with the receiver within the map panel, all in real time. Everything is done through the same unique software. There’s no need for additional and complicated connections with third-party modules.

SDX’s Advanced Interference allows many new possibilities, such as:

  • complex jamming and spoofing scenarios involving land, sea or air vehicles
  • complex waveform generation for compliance testing and GNSS receiver testing
  • generation of out-of-band interference for non-GNSS interference scenario replication

We can’t stress enough the fact that so little hardware is needed due to the power of SDX running on GPU-enabled hardware. Picture this: a simple SDR such as the bladeRF can be used to generate an upper- or lower-band GNSS signal (2+ constellations) with jamming signals! By using a more advanced SDR such as the Ettus X300, a full multi-band, multi-constellation setup can be created in a few minutes.

All of this is now not only possible, but easy to set up and use.

Gaussian Noise

Another new feature added with SDX release 17.8 is the option to add white gaussian noise to the GNSS signal. Once again, the underlying architecture of SDX enables a technical feat: noise is added to the signal during digital processing with high precision. SDX takes advantage of the very high performance of today’s GPUs in floating-point calculation.

Gaussian noise added digitally on GNSS signals in SDX

Adding white Gaussian noise during digital processing provides 2 very important advantages:

  1. The additive white Gaussian noise is always exactly the same; it’s completely independent from analog components, and no calibration is ever needed.
  2. It gives users a very precise level of control over the generated signal-to-noise density ratio.

GUI improvements & Spectrum View

Release 17.8 also adds numerous improvements to the SDX user interface.

The main window layout has been reworked and improved as some screens have been moved (and others added) into a sub-tab panel at the bottom:

The updated UI layout with the sub-tab at the bottom, and redesigned map panel

The Analysis panel has been renamed “Map”. An “accordion-style” info panel now displays various details regarding the dynamics of the elements that are part of the GNSS simulation. Improvements have also been made to the simulation trails, along with an improved tracking mode to follow either the simulation, the receiver (if connected) or any dynamic jammers.

The map panel comes with an improved information view for simulated elements (GNSS Simulation and interference transmitters) and the receiver. It features improved controls, a better information layout, and comes with new accessibility features.

The deviation analysis graph has been moved at the bottom into a new sub-tab UI. This new UI panel now groups the constellations (sky view & power sliders) and the deviation graph together, and adds two new features: RF spectrums and a log.

The new sub-tab UI regroups the constellations (now with DOP values displayed), deviation (appears if a receiver is connected), and two new panels: spectrum view and status log.

Spectrum View: SDX users can now view the RF spectrum for each of the SDR RF output in this tab. The screen can be configured to show one or more graphs, and signal spectrums can be zoomed or highlighted individually in each view. Spectrum graphs are generated in real time as the simulation runs.

The spectrum sub-tab shows spectrums for all RF outputs currently configured

Status Log: The log subtab outputs the status of the simulator and logs historical events. The log tool is particularly handy for reviewing events after running long simulations; it also provides additional feedback when using the remote API and will pop into focus if something happens that requires the user’s attention.

The new Status Log sub-tab

Users with active support are eligible for this latest SDX upgrade and will benefit from the Gaussian noise update, spectrum view and the GUI improvements. Advanced Jamming is available now as an option for all existing or new SDX users; contact Skydel today if you would like to learn more about it.

As you can see, we have had our plates full during the summer, delivering a host of new features that continue to position SDX as the most innovative software-based GNSS/GPS simulator on the market. With SDX Release 17.8 now out the door, we are rolling up our sleeves on the next big release. While the next release date is not locked down, we will be previewing new features of SDX in our booth at ION GNSS, which takes place in Portland, Oregon, from September 25-27, 2018. Stop by Skydel’s booth (#100) any time during the show and we will be happy to demonstrate them for you.