Unique and comprehensive laboratories
Designed specifically to cater for the needs of the applications and research development community, the Nottingham Geospatial Building (NGB) provides a comprehensive environment for the simulation, research and development and testing of GNSS, Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) and geospatial applications.
Roof based laboratory
The Roof Based Laboratory of the NGB (560 sq. metres) is a unique testing platform. It can be used to carry out a range of research and development, simulation and test activities. Seven pillars supported throughout the building and into the foundations, provide precise antennae mounting points and the capability for the simultaneous testing of multiple sensors. The roof also houses a unique state of the art 120m kinematic test-track.
Covered with a multipath reducing surface and designed for minimum obstructions, the Roof Based Laboratory provides a high-tolerance geo-referenced platform for testing continuously operating GNSS receivers.
GPS/Galileo RF signal simulation
GRACE also has a GSS8000 hardware simulation system from Spirent Communications. This can be used to develop and test new applications using satellite navigation technology. With a total of 96 channels and the capability to simulate GPS L1, L2 and L5, Galileo E1, E5ab and E6, the GSS8000 allows comprehensive, repeatable and cost-effective multi-system, multi-constellation GNSS testing.
Indoor PNT environment
The NGB has been designed as a test-bed for integrated PNT technologies. It is equipped with an RFID navigation platform that includes more than 1000 RFID tags positioned under the carpet of the first floor of the building as well as the GNSS laboratory. Wi-Fi access is provided and an Ultra Wide-Band (UWB) system is under development enabling R&D in seamless, integrated indoor navigation technologies.
The mobile laboratory allows repeatable kinematic experiments in real-life conditions. The customised Mercedes Vito van has a fixed steel frame on the top with 6 surveyed positions for the installation of GNSS receivers, internal chambers for navigation-grade IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units), 2 industrial computers and operator desk space inside.
Other facilities within the NGB include a GNSS development laboratory (40 sq. metres), a visualisation laboratory (72 sq. metres), a conference and training room.