Network Interfaced Radar Simulators
Buffalo Computer Graphics, Inc. (BCG) now offers several different radar simulator products that allow a network only interface into a radar and/or ECDIS display. Using our well-proven radar simulation engine, new BCG software creates custom network packets for the radar video, radar control and target tracking data associated with a radar system. In some cases, the packet format is of a proprietary nature (i.e. Raytheon and Maris) and in other cases, we support an open network protocol (i.e. ASTERIX). In each case, the results are a realistic radar presentation on a radar display or as radar overlay on an ECDIS.
ASTERIX is a data messaging protocol used to communicate radar information between navigation system components using an open, internationally established specification. BCG has developed a back-end application for our radar simulator that can send and receive predefined ASTERIX Categories. Supported is data Category 34 which contains the structure for the transmission of our radar simulator’s service messages to a radar system. The uncompressed radar video data is distributed via Category 240 messages. Category 48 messages are supported for relaying target information to the radar system. Lastly, there is a proprietary message created by Category 253. Any radar features not supported by the ASTERIX specification can be defined here, and BCG will customize CAT 253 messages as required by a particular manufacturer. Manufacturers such as Kelvin Hughes, Raytheon, OSI, Radio Holland and others support ASTERIX for their radar and/or ECDIS displays.
This application allows BCG to feed radar image data into the Raytheon Synapsis System using a network interface and no special hardware. SynapseSim also provides for a radar overlay capability when using the Raytheon Synapsis ECDIS product. BCG’s implementation is based Raytheon’s proprietary interface specification; therefore it operates as though connected to the real radar system. The SynapseSim software, combined with the NMEA-0183 and AIS capabilities of the BCG Maritime Simulation Tool (MaST), provides for a complete simulation solution when using the Synapsis products. Since SynapseSim uses BCG’s proven radar simulation engine, it produces realistic 3D radar imagery on the radar or ECDIS display, as well as, allowing for radar control of range, PRF, PW, and the other radar controlled parameters.
To better support the small boat community, BCG has developed a network-based radar interface for Raymarine’s eS Series of Multifunction displays (MFD). Working directly with Raymarine/FLIR, BCG now offers a software application that can deliver a realistic radar image to the MFD without special radar hardware. Operator control for FLIRSim is provided through our Maritime Simulation Tool (MaST) software. This simulation control software provides all of the features needed to create edit, save and replay unlimited training or testing scenarios. MaST can be teamed with BCG’s N2KTranslator application and an Actisense CAN Bus converter to provide NMEA2000 data messages directly into the MFD for all simulated sensor data. (Standard NMEA-0183 and AIS outputs are also available.)
BCG’s implementation of MarisSim is designed on Navico’s proprietary interface specification for a radar interface. When used in conjunction with the Maris900 ECDIS, the user is provided with a fully IMO compliant ECDIS which supports radar overlay. Control for all BCG radar simulators is provided through our Maritime Simulation Tool (MaST) software. This modern, simple to use interface provides all of the features needed to create edit, save and replay unlimited training or testing scenarios. MaST outputs NMEA-0183 and AIS messages, and has the ability to interface with a larger bridge simulator system as a ‘Slave’ to provide exercise control over the radar and ECDIS presentations.