New Video on GESTALT® (Gnss SignAL Testbed)


The Communication Systems Division launches a new Video on GESTALT® (Gnss SignAL Testbed). It is a new platform for the experimentation with GNSS signals that allows for rigorous, transparent, fair and replicable testing of signal processing algorithms and receiver architectures. The testbed includes hardware, software, and networking components, constituting a state-of-the-art facility for research and development of next-generation’s GNSS receivers. GESTALT consists of:

1) A physical infrastructure for research and development of software defined GNSS receivers, featuring:
– A set of GNSS antennas mounted in a platform on the roof of CTTC headquarters.
– GNSS Signal generation equipment for controlled experiments.
– A set of RF front-ends, in charge of amplification, filtering, down-shifting to baseband, digitizing and interfacing with the computing platform.
– A computing platform where the software receiver is executed.

2) An open source project, named GNSS-SDR, that implements the GNSS software-defined receiver used in GESTALT and provides an open development ecosystem consisting of:
– A website:
– Public source code repository with and associated version control system:
– A public mailing list:

Due to the open source license in which GNSS-SDR is released, a partial testbed replication can be done on a limited budget with commodity computers and low cost, over-the-counter antennas and radio-frequency front-ends. This allows both for reproducible research and short assessment and validation times, ultimately shortening the gap between ideas for new uses of GNSS signals and user-driven, market-ready products and services.

Regarding the name, GESTALT is a pseudo-acronym of Gnss SignAL Testbed, a german word than can be translated as “shape” or “form”, and the name of a theory of mind of the Berlin School. Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. We think this is a definition that fits nicely with the purpose of the signal processing inside a GNSS receiver, which obtains meaningful information from signals that are received well below the noise floor.