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Computers and software applications have come to occupy an important place in our lives and there is hardly any area where they are not used to make a difference in which things have been done in traditional manner and this includes the maritime sector as well. Ship simulation software is widely used for training and testing purposes these days, and is finding its use in the marine industry as well as we shall in our article.
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The answer to this question is relatively simple. A ship is a huge piece of machinery and it is too expensive for most training institutes to arrange or own a ship and secondly it is not possible to duplicate every type of situation even if a real ship is available. Even having parts of the ship in a laboratory such as the entire marine diesel engine or bridge is not a practical solution in most circumstances. Hence the best thing is to use a virtual application or simulation software which can help to fulfill the purpose whether it is related to bridge simulation, engine room simulation, fire fighting simulation or anything similar
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Simulation Software Applications
There are several simulation softwares available in the market for all kinds of marine simulation and it will not be possible to list all these here. Yet a few good and popular software applications will be reviewed. Before that I would like to mention that such software applications can be divided broadly into two groups. Kindly note that these groups are just for discussion in this article and do not represent any official designation neither do they represent any grading
- Group A - The first group consists of “elite" applications which are very elaborate and professional but very expensive at the same time, hence most used by training institutes
- Group B - The second group consists of either demo versions of bigger software or relatively simple software which can be owned for a reasonable price say in the region of 50-100 USD (possibly more)
It must be noted that the second group B softwares may not be extremely expensive yet they incorporate several features for such a price range; they can be interesting to download and will give you a feeling of the actual thing. Given below is a list of some of these software applications.
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Turbo Diesel 4 – this is popular marine engine simulation software which is available from PC Maritime and infact it is just one product from a range of similar products which include cargo simulation, steam ship simulation and so forth. Although these are very expensive software, still they can be tried out for their DEMO versions on this page.
STSTC – These are softwares designed by the renowned Scientific and Technical Simulator Training Centre, and they provide advanced softwares for different types of marine applications including engine room, bridge, GMDSS simulation and many more. Obviously these softwares are useful for marine training colleges and not much use at individual level because of the high costs involved.
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Ship Simulator Professional – this is advanced software available from VSTEP Company based in Netherlands, and though it is not free you can still request the company for a demonstration version. They screen the application individually and give you the permission to do so if they feel your request is genuine. Their software makes use of advanced 3-D animation graphics and is very useful for training purposes.
Virtual Sailor – This is software for the common man, so to speak and is available both in demo and paid versions. The demo version has a time limit for which you can run it after which you need to exit and restart your voyage but it gives a good experience of virtual sailing. If you feel you really like this software you can purchase it for a very nominal price of 30 USD. Click here to download it. The screen Shot gives a view of what you will experience and the pictures shows the bridge and the outside view which can be zoomed in and out and you can also see the various readings on the console.
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The Scientific and Technical Simulator Training Centre