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UCSD takes another step into the future with its Spirent Academia Program

University Centre South Devon, part of South Devon College, is ensuring it is in step with technological advances by offering a comprehensive degree-level introduction to satellite-based PNT (Positioning, Navigation and Timing), thanks to its membership on the Spirent Academia Program. 

The University Centre, which has recently received a TEF Gold award for its teaching provision, has a close working relationship with Spirent, which is the leading global provider of automated test and assurance solutions for networks, cybersecurity, and positioning.  

Now, as a member of the Spirent Academia Program, the Student Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is working with the company to incorporate the GNSS Fundamentals module into its relevant courses, providing students with relevant expertise and experience to pursue a career or further qualifications involving PNT technologies. 

PNT are now essential capabilities in many devices, products and services. From launching spacecraft and locating earthquake survivors to enabling autonomous driving and monitoring biodiversity, satellite-based PNT has a key role to play across industry sectors. 

The GNSS Fundamentals training module from Spirent enables universities and colleges to provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with a comprehensive introduction to satellite-based PNT, in partnership with the leader in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) test and measurement. 

Included in the module are ready-to-use lecture materials, covering the fundamentals of GNSS; an introduction to satellite-based PNT, its origins and uses; and the composition of satellite signals. There are also workshop resources allowing students to practise the art of scenario simulation with training from Spirent engineers in the use of the Spirent SimGNSS Software Suite. 

The module was designed by the industry leader in GNSS test and measurement, and developed at Spirent’s UK base, ensuring that universities and colleges stay up to date with developments in PNT technologies, which in turn teach students current skills to help them progress into the workforce. 

The University Centre had already invested in a Spirent GSS7000 GNSS signal simulator, to provide hands-on PNT experience for students on its Engineering and Computer Science courses.  

Located within the Torbay High-Tech Cluster of photonics and micro-electronics businesses, the University Centre enjoys close ties with industry and offers clear paths to employment for graduates. It also aims to work collaboratively with employers to train the future workforce in the needs of industry. 

Dr Roger Hopper, Skills Development Coordinator at South Devon College, said: “The GNSS Fundamentals module gives our students valuable knowledge and experience in a technology field that is in high and growing demand across multiple industries in the UK and around the world.  

“University Centre South Devon already enjoyed a close industry partnership with Spirent, encompassing internships, work placements and industry engagement, and this module takes that partnership a step further.” 

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