Slope Soaring Simulator
About Screenshots Download Documentation Documentation

You'll need hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to get this simulator to run at a decent rate (unless you make it run in wire-frame mode etc), and your graphics driver must support OpenGL.

Both Windows and Linux support (basic) multi-player. See the documentation page for details on how to use it.

0. All users.

Go here to download the most recent available version (2.16.5), which includes both the Win32 executable and the source code. Sorry, you need to register to do this - I get too much traffic to host the file on this website now. Then go to step 1 or 2 below.

1. Windows users.

You should be able to unzip the file using Winzip - extract all the files making sure you preserve the directory structure - i.e. don't just drag them from the winzip window into a single folder. Things should look similar to this. Note that I've included the GLUT.dll for your convenience. Now go to the documentation page to see how to run it (if it's not obvious).

2. Unix/Linux users (and those who want to see how it works).

Extract the files (use unzip) and to build, just type make (or maybe gmake). Note that you will need to have OpenGL and GLUT headers/libraries etc installed on your machine. You will also need GLE and GLUI. I encountered some minor problems whilst compiling GLUI under linux with gcc-3.0.1. (1) a couple of places need things like "friend GLUI_Rollout" changed to "friend class GLUI_Rollout" in glui.h. (2) You need to make the directories "bin" and "lib" by hand. (3) each of the examples needs to have "main" return an int, not void. Finally, you will also need PLIB (I used version 1.6 I think. Dead easy to install - also included in many linux distibutions?) and FMOD for sound. Having said that, it's possible to build without any of GLUI, FMOD, PLIB and GLE by tweaking the Makefile.

The hardest library to get going (if you're not a coder) is GLUI, because of the issues above, so I've the necessary modifications to it. It can be downloaded here.

3. Additional files.

Whilst you can merrily fly around the computer-generated landscapes using uplift from the computer-generated wind-field (which is a bit/lot of a hack), there's quite a lot of potential for setting up more realistic terrain/wind-fields. I need to experiment more in this area, but here are some terrains and wind-fields (also see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/slope_soaring_sim for more gliders and terrains). The terrains here were all drawn using The Gimp. The wind-fields have been calculated using a meteorological model called Metphomod - well a slightly hacked version because it's intended for larger-scale simulations. You have two options - either:

  1. Dowload both the terrain and wind file in the sections below. Save them in your SSS directory, and then modify the file sss.cfg (with a text editor - e.g. notepad under Windows) to use them. This will just be a matter of "commenting out" (i.e. inserting a "#" character at the beginning of) the line containing terrain_file none and "uncommenting" (i.e. removing the "#" character at the beginning of) the relevant set of lines lower down. You should be able to figure it out (if not, email me).
  2. Download just the terrain file, and get the SSS to calculate the winds. To do this, do the same as above except don't download the wind file and when you uncomment the wind_file line change it to wind_file none.

Here are the available terrain/wind fields, all of which will need to be uncompressed (e.g. with Winzip under windows):

  1. This is a fairly large (513x513 points) terrain (nice and lumpy), but the wind-field is calculated on a relatively course grid, meaning that the regions of uplift tend to get spread out more than they should. This is a good candidate for just downloading the terrain file.
    Here is the terrain file and here is the wind file.

The 1.8.0 version (onwards) comes with a small "terrain_flat.dat" which represents a simple flat terrain - OK for thermal flying (and debugging!).

More terrains can be found at the yahoo site.

If you downloaded and compiled the source, you'll also have a program called bw_to_orog. This allows you to convert gray-scale uncompressed SGI image files (e.g. created with The Gimp) into the form used by SSS. The image must be square with each side 2^n + 1 pixels.

SSS