News

23rd May 2017: Version 5.0 released

Bridge Command 5.0 has been released for Windows, OSX and Linux. Bridge Command 5.0 and will be the start of a new phase of development. It is a complete re-write of the program, and therefore there are some differences, although compatibility has been maintained as much as possible.

The key difference is that the world model heightmap format has changed, so if you have developed your own world area, please see the documentation on the world file format (included in the download).

Bridge Command 5.0

5th January 2017

Current work is focussing on the water/wave simulation, and is based on Keith Lantz's ocean simulation code. There is still work do do, but initial results look promising.

Wave rendering

17th November 2016

Bridge Command 5.0 beta 4 has been released for testing, and is available from the download page.

Significant development is continuing on Bridge Command 5, with the main focus being on the radar, implementing north up, course up and head up modes, as well as the ability to switch to a full screen radar from the combined view. ARPA simulation is being developed, with the basic simulation working well, and work continuing on the user interface.

Bridge Command 5.0 in development

Full screen radar with initial ARPA implementation

 

12th May 2016

Bridge Command 5.0 beta 3 has been released for testing for Windows, Apple OSX and Linux. The main changes are user interface improvements for engine, rudder and radar controls, and a multiplayer mode has been implemented. To test the multiplayer mode, please follow the instructions at Version_5.0_Multiplayer.

Please download and provide feedback here

Bridge Command 5.0 beta 3

12th December 2015

An update to the Beta is available for testing. This includes a new settings editor, and should fix a problem with the map based programs (scenario editor, controller), where the background map was not cleared properly between updates.

Please download and provide feedback here

19th November 2015

Bridge Command 5.0 is available for beta testing, and is available for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux (compiled on Ubuntu 14.04, 32 bit). Please download and provide feedback here.

In the fog

Night

30th September 2015

The sixth Alpha version of Bridge Command has been released. This includes a Mac OSX app version for the first time, in addition to the Windows installer.

This can be downloaded from the Downloads page.

The Alpha 6 version is a minor update, and is expected to be the final alpha version. The next version is expected to be a Beta release version, and will include a scenario editor, which is currently being developed.

24th August 2015

The fifth Alpha version of Bridge Command has been released. This is a minor update on alpha 4, including additionally

  • Configurable radar background & echo colours
  • Configurable field of view angle
  • Anti-aliasing (if OpenGL anti-aliasing is supported by your video driver)

This can be downloaded from the Downloads page.

21st August 2015

The fourth Alpha version of Bridge Command 5.0 has been released.

This fixes the crash in the launcher program for Windows, includes secondary display mode for panoramic views, as well as basic collision and grounding detection.

This can be downloaded from the Downloads page.

18th July 2015

Bridge Command 5 has now been tested successfully on Mac OSX, meaning that the version in development can now run on Apple, Windows and Linux computers. In parallel, development continues on the final features before an initial beta release, expected in around a month from now.

Bridge Command on Mac OSX

7th July 2015

The full version of Bridge Command 4.7 has been released. This is a minor update, which includes:

  • Improved sending of GPS NMEA messages (each message sent in turn every 150ms)
  • New NMEA messages for engine, rudder and heading
  • Allowing the synchronisation of navigation lights, for example for pairs of lights marking a transit
  • Add variable range marker (VRM) to radar
  • Allowing multiple joysticks for different controls

Please visit the download page.

In parallel, development continues with version 5.0. Source code for this is hosted at https://github.com/bridgecommand/bc, and now fully compiles and runs on both Windows and Linux.

2nd June 2015

The third alpha version of Bridge Command 5.0 has been released, including GPS emulation for use with a chart plotter, joystick support for rudder and engine controls, and a networked controller program, so an instructor can control the behaviour of other ships in the simulation. If you download this, please provide feedback in the forum. You can download this on the Download page.

7th May 2015

Development continues on Bridge Command 5.0, with emulation of GPS (NMEA over serial) implemented, and work continuing on the networking and the controller program. 'Other ships' and 'Controlled ships' will be merged, using the controller to change the current and future route of 'Other ships' as the scenario develops.

Bridge Command 5.0 with network controller

Version 4.7 of the current implementation will be released shortly. This includes a collection of minor updates including:

  • Improved sending of GPS NMEA messages, and new messages for engine, rudder and heading
  • Allowing the synchronisation of navigation light sequences, for example for pairs of lights marking a transit
  • Add variable range marker (VRM) to radar
  • Allowing multiple joysticks for different controls

15th December 2014

The second alpha version of Bridge Command 5.0 has been released, including the basic radar controls, a new water simulation, and the overall interface set up. You can download this on the Download page.

Bridge Command Alpha 2 screenshot

In other news, Blitz3D has now been released as an open source product, so users who want to make modifications to Bridge Command 4.6 can use this freely: See the Blitz3D section on http://www.blitzbasic.com/Products/_index_.php

8th November 2014

Development continues, including work on the interface, and the basic radar features implemented (range, gain, clutter and rain clutter controls). In addition, a more realistic sea is being developed (based on https://github.com/elvman/RealisticWaterSceneNode). A second alpha release containing these features should be released in the next few weeks.

New sea by day

New sea at night

19th September 2014

The initial Alpha (incomplete) version of Bridge Command 5.0 has been released. This has been compiled for Windows, but uses cross platform libraries, and should be compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS. This is an early alpha release, and does not include networking for instructor control or multiple screens, and has a basic user interface and radar simulation. Work continues on these areas, and will then move into improving the realism of the graphics and ship behaviour, as well as general optimisation of speed and other areas.

This release is primarily aimed at developers. If you are more interested in using Bridge Command's features, please use version 4.6. The alpha version can be downloaded here.

Bridge Command 5.0 Alpha 1

1st May 2014

Work on the cross-platform version continues steadily, with work on the very first stages of radar simulation and scenario loading.

Early demo showing first stage radar implementation

13th April 2014

The early stages of development have started on a new cross-platform version of Bridge Command. Maintenance and development of the existing version will continue, as the cross-platform version will take a very significant time to develop. The screenshot below shows the very initial stages completed so far.

Bridge Command running with Irrlicht

The new version is being developed in C++, using the Irrlicht engine, and will run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. In addition, the aim is to significantly improve the simulation graphics and realism.

2nd January 2014

The full version of Bridge Command 4.6 has been released. This includes

  • An experimental networked multiplayer implementation, so users can interact in the same sea area.
  • Improved Radar simulation, improving blocking by large contacts, and introducing Search and Rescue Transducers (SARTs) and Radar Beacons (RACONs).
  • Rain and improved weather controls.
  • Improvements have been made to the scenario editor, including modification of existing scenarios.
  • Import and export of scenarios, to make scenario distribution easier.
  • Scenarios can be logged in Bridge Command, without need for a networked session.
  • An improved start-up process, especially for network sessions, so you can use hostname as well as IP address, the previous session values are stored.
  • New settings editor (from http://code.google.com/p/ini-settings-editor/).

25th October 2013

The development (Beta) version of Bridge Command 4.6 has been released. 

17th Dec 2012

Bridge Command 4.5 has been released. This includes:

  • GPS emulation for use with chart plotter.
  • Improvements in the start-up and scenario selection interface.
  • Sailing simulation.
  • Improved ship dynamics.
  • Full screen radar display option for use in multi-screen simulation.
  • Improved ARPA performance during own ship course and speed changes.

Multi-screen simulation with full screen radar

Bridge Command 4.5 in use with full screen radar display and panoramic view

27th September 2012

One feature currently being developed is the emulation of a GPS NMEA data, so Bridge Command can be used with an electronic chartplotter. As an example, this is Bridge Command being tested with OpenCPN:

Bridge Command GPS/NMEA with OpenCPN

29th April 2012

Development work is currently underway on sailing simulation in Bridge Command, and 'two player' simulation, with two users controlling their own vessels in the same scenario.

Work in progress on two player simulation

Work in progress on sailing simulation\

26th Dec 2011

Bridge Command 4.4 has been released, with continued improvement in radar simulation, including an enhanced radar model and realistic scan rate.

22nd May 2011

Bridge Command 4.3 has been released.

  • There are significant enhancements to the radar, including gain and clutter contol
  • A graphical scenario editor, so scenarios can easily be set up as required
  • Scenario objectives can be set and judged during the exercise

20th June 2010

Bridge Command 4.2 has been released.

This contains a number of significant new features, including:

  • ARPA simulation, including manual and automatic tracking of radar contacts to give information such as predicted closest point of approach (CPA) and time to CPA.
  • Improved radar simulation.
  • A fully charted estuary training area, including land features, lit buoys, tides and tidal information. This area is intended to be useful for pilotage, rule of the road and buoy recognition training.
  • Improving the dynamics model, including the 'prop walk' turning effect of single and twin propellor vessels.

14 March 2010

Current work being carried out on includes:

  • Adding ARPA tracking of contacts on the radar to give information such as predicted closest point of approach (CPA) and time to CPA
  • Improving the realism of the radar, with sea clutter and noise
  • Developing the available world models to create better environments for pilotage and navigation training.

17 January 2010

Bridge Command 4.1 has been released.

This contains a number of significant new features, including:

  • A realistic radar simulation, including parallel indexes.
  • An improved controller for interactive exercises, including the re-positioning of vessels to make simulation set-up easy.
  • Simulation recording and replay in 3D.
  • Running Bridge Command on multiple screens to get a panoramic field of view.

23 November 2009

Development continues steadily, with some of the key points being:

  • A realistic radar simulation method has been developed to replace the current simple radar image.
  • The networking code to connect Bridge Command and the Map Controller has been re-written to improve speed and smoothness.
  • Development is underway to allow multiple computers to run the same scenario, displaying different viewpoints around the ship, in order to provide an unlimited view around the ship. Each computer will display one viewpoint, with one master computer controlling the scenario.

For a preview of some of these features, see the bottom of the features page. It is likely a Bridge Command release containing these new features will be available in the first quarter of 2010.

17 June 2009

A bug affecting the communication between Bridge Command and the Map Controller program, when used together, has been fixed.

14 June 2009

Bridge Command 4.0 has been released as open source software, under the GPL. This release contains major enhancements in almost all areas over previous releases. These include the ability to control the behaviour of other ships in a scenario from another computer, general usability enhancements, improvements in the graphics, and a full set of documentation.

8 May 2009

Bridge Command development continues, and Bridge Command now provides the software for the Albatross Bridge Simulator at CAPACITACION CICERON LTDA, which has been inspected by the Chilean Navy, and found to accomplish the STCW standards to provide training in the following IMO model courses: 1.07 and 1.08 and it was elevated to the following category: FULL MISSION SIMULATOR. Congratulations to Sergio Fuentes Fernandez for achieving this status for a bridge simulator powered by Bridge Command.

11 February 2009

Development of Bridge Command has now restarted actively. Some of the new features to be released soon include a control programme to run scenarios interactively - The scenario running on one computer and the controlling programme on another, which can set the speeds and directions of the other ships in the scenario.

Also added are fog for more realistic visibility at sea, the ability to use an external set of throttles and a wheel to control your own ship, as well as many other enhancements.

Look out for the release in the next few weeks. A preview is shown in the screenshot at the top of these pages.

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