Cybicom Atlas Defence - Bridge Simulator

Presagis’ suite of modeling & simulation software enabled Cybicom Atlas Defense to develop its bridge concept demonstrator for the South African Navy on time and within budget.




  • Customer: Cybicom Atlas Defence
  • Country/Region: South Africa
  • Domain: Maritime
  • Application: Bridge Simulator
  • Presagis Software: STAGE, Vega Prime, VAPS XT                  
Cybicom Bridge Simulator


Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD) has been a Presagis customer since 2007 and currently uses Presagis software tools to design and develop simulation systems primarily for the South African Navy. Examples of deployed systems by CAD include an integrated periscope simulator, a helicopter flight deck trainer, and a helicopter flight simulator.


In May 2013, the South African Navy provided requirements for a ship bridge simulation solution to help reduce the Navy’s training costs and increase user skills and experience via simulation-based technologies. 
In order to build a bridge concept demonstrator, CAD used Presagis’ suite of software tools to develop and deploy the underlying simulation application for the prototype. As a self-funded R&D project, the key challenge for CAD was to keep development costs low while developing a prototype within a 3-month timeframe. 


The interoperability of Presagis’ simulation, visualization, and human-machine interface (HMI) tools, and their tight integration with third party extensions such as DI-Guy made Presagis a clear leader in the marketplace. 
In order to accelerate the application development process, the CAD team reused development efforts from previously deployed simulation systems based on Presagis STAGE and Vega Prime. For example, developers were able to easily tweak ocean parameters in order to provide a visually impressive view from the simulated bridge. Combined with a simple motion model, developers were able to provide impressive ship dynamics and responses. 
The CAD team also used Presagis VAPS XT to rapidly develop interactive conning and propulsion displays for the bridge simulator without depending on external graphic designers to complete the design work.

“The combined development tools offered by Presagis cannot be matched by other vendors in the modeling & simulation market”

– Malcolm Behrens, CEO, Cybicom (Africa) Technologies (Pty), Ltd.

What’s more, fast and efficient technical support from Presagis enabled the CAD team to quickly address any technical challenges they encountered. Quick turnaround times were critical in meeting the company’s tight timeline.


The bridge simulator developed by CAD is an advanced concept demonstrator with a number of sophisticated features. The simulator includes the latest version of the CAD Compact Tactical Aid (CTA)—a simplified command and control system—designed to facilitate the overall control and situational awareness of Navy boats.
CAD’s bridge simulator comprises of four locally designed and built consoles and a bespoke instructor workstation. The throttle and steering controls are also locally designed and manufactured. 


Presagis software tools were extensively used to create the simulation scenarios and interactive displays, and visualize the end application:
  • Image generation is based on the Presagis Vega Prime visualization toolkit (including the Vega Prime Marine and Effects modules) and displayed across a three-monitor video wall.
  • The conning display was developed using Presagis VAPS XT and presents various navigation and sensor data necessary for command of the ship. This display can be customised to include a large variety of sensor information.
  • The propulsion display was developed using Presagis VAPS XT. It reflects the propulsion system parameters in real-time as supplied by the bridge simulator ship model. This display can be upgraded to include the full set of integrated platform management system controls.
  • A custom instructor workstation provides for instructor definition and control of the scenario and bridge simulator using the Presagis STAGE development kit. The instructor is able to control all environment aspects including sea states, weather, target movement, and engagements. All sensors and effectors (e.g., guns) are modeled for detection and hit probability.
A major advantage of the Presagis suite of tools is that it enabled CAD developers to reuse data from previous development projects. Updates and enhancements to create the new simulation system required a fraction of the development time and resources, and hence kept costs down.
Cybicom Bridge Simulator
CAD’s bridge simulator is driven from an instructor station using Presagis STAGE. This software tool allows for powerful scenario simulation for multiple land, sea, and air targets. Each platform has the effective ranges and detection probabilities for the various sensors and effectors calculated in real-time.
The hardware was assembled and installed in approximately 48 hours. The existing false-floor at the venue allowed for all cabling to be hidden resulting in an extremely neat and efficient installation. The software was pre-loaded onto new Alienware X51 hardware and final setting-to-work was completed in under a day.


CAD successfully demonstrated its prototype at the South African Navy Simulation Symposium in September 2013. The bridge concept demonstrator was met with extremely positive reviews by the South African Navy. The ability to operate the prototype in the existing training environment helped to ensure that a reliable demonstrator was delivered in a timely fashion. 

“The reaction to our simulator by the South African Navy admirals and officers was 100% positive.”

– Malcolm Behrens, CEO, Cybicom (Africa) Technologies (Pty), Ltd.



CAD was specifically looking for a common development toolset that would not only serve the specific R&D project at hand, but also help accelerate future simulation development projects. Presagis’ comprehensive and integrated suite of software tools provided CAD with an open and scalable simulation toolkit to develop and demonstrate its bridge simulator prototype to the South African Navy on-time and within budget.