Voyage Data Recorders (VDR)

21-01-2024 | Property Development

Voyage data recorders (VDR) collect, process and store shipboard sensor data to give valuable insights in the aftermath of a marine incident. They are basically maritime black boxes designed to help determine the root of marine accidents and assist in their prevention.

VDRs and S-VDRs can be fitted to all ships of at least 3,000 gross tons and up built after 1 July 2002. A VDR/SVDR is an electronic storage medium that is able to be able to withstand pressures and shocks caused by marine events like sinking, collision, or fire.

The system is designed to collect data from a variety sensors on board a ship and then compressing and digitizing it before storing it into an enclosure that is secured externally. The tamperproof box is designed to withstand the most severe heat, shock and impact and pressures, that may be encountered during a marine incident, like a collision or a fire.

Members may want to upgrade their VDR/SVDR systems so that they can retain information for a longer time. Currently, the IMO performance standard only requires the VDR/S-VDR to keep data for a maximum of 12 hours after the incident before it is overwritten.

A growing number of companies offer a MantaDigital S-VDR that is able to be accessed from a distance, similar to the way airlines’ FDR data are analyzed after an incident. This allows onboard technical issues to be diagnosed remotely and aids in the implementation of proactive maintenance procedures. Regular shoreside playbacks also assist bridge teams in understanding patterns in their performance and identifying improvement opportunities.


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