Since 1982, Buffalo Computer Graphics, Inc. (BCG) has been a prominent provider to the Maritime Training & Electronic Navigation community. BCG focuses on providing realistic simulation both for operator training and for system testing. With that said, BCG now offers the capability to generate NMEA2000 (IEC 61162-1) PGNs as part of their simulator product line. This add-on software module, called “N2KTranslator”, operates with BCG’s Maritime Simulation Tool (MaST) to generate a wide range of ship sensor data while utilizing the NMEA2000 data format and interface standard. MaST is able to create, save, and load scenarios. In these scenarios, MaST controls the environmental parameters, along with the movement of all vessels within a BCG provided landmass database. MaST also supports the generation of NMEA0183 and AIS messages as well. Current users of this NMEA2000 simulation tool include the US Coast Guard and Raymarine/FLIR.
NMEA2000 (N2K) is a plug-and-play communications standard used for connecting maritime sensors and display units within ships and boats. Using a CAN bus backbone connection, BCG’s simulation software will deliver N2K PGNs over an Actisense NGT-1-USB gateway converter that correlate with a vessel’s sensor activity in a simulation scenario being run by MaST. BCG has implemented over 50 of the most commonly used messages related to ship navigation, including AIS and DSC messages, and BCG will continue to grow this PGN capability over time. For a list of the currently supported PGNs, please contact BCG.
This N2KTranslator application also has the capability to display, filter, toggle on/off the transmission of certain PGNS, and monitor/log all N2K PGNs that go over the CAN bus. The created log file can be analyzed within N2KTranslator, to the level where the PGN messages can be broken down into the decoded data fields. This application can also act solely as a spy on the CAN bus to see what PGN messages are being sent over it. By operating as a N2K source and receiver, this application can act as a test platform for sensor, radar, and ECS manufacturers. This simulation system is designed for a Windows environment.Learn more