Similarly, a GNSS signal must travel a long and challenging path (21,000 km) through the atmosphere to get to a receiver antenna in order for an operator to determine a perfect distance measurement and an accurate time space scenario. GPS signals are very weak compared to the other frequencies transmitting in a given spectrum—and therefore the signal gets pushed around, altered or blocked along the way.

Signal strength and clarity is the challenge that all GPS receivers face, especially in today’s current environment where everyone is trying to take advantage of the RF spectrum. With older generations of receivers, operators do not have easy or instant visibility into data about signal interferences that can cause cycle slips, lock breaks or lock loss. The only clue that the proper performance specifications are not met would be a loss of satellites or position. The where and why of interference—intentional or not—typically requires expensive and cumbersome spectrum analysis equipment, the logging of a lot of interference raw data, and/or extensive post-processing.

That’s not the case anymore. The next generation OEM7® GNSS receiver card, launched in September 2016, is the first of its kind to incorporate advanced interference mitigation technology. The Interference Toolkit (ITK), one of the most advanced and innovative features available on the NovAtel® OEM7 GNSS receiver platform, is a game changer—particularly with today’s crowded frequency spectrums where potential for interference is high.

The ITK provides any operator on-demand actionable intelligence by measuring the radio frequency spectrum levels, making it much easier and faster to visualize, monitor, quantify and even mitigate interference sources that commonly impact receiver performance.