Voyage Data Recorders (VDR)

Voyage Data Recorders (VDR) are devices that gather, process and record sensor data from ships to provide valuable information in the aftermath of an incident. They are essentially maritime black boxes designed to determine the causes of marine accidents and aid in their prevention.

VDRs and S-VDRs are fitted to all ships of three tons gross or more built after July 1, 2002. A VDR/SVDR is a storage medium that can endure pressures and shocks from marine incidents such as sinking, collisions, or fire.

The system is designed to collect data from a variety of sensors aboard a vessel as well as compressing and digitizing the data before storing it in an enclosed what is the purpose of a data audit storage unit that is mounted externally. The tamperproof container is designed to withstand the severe heat, shock, impact and pressures that could be encountered in a marine incident such as a collision or fire.

Members might want to think about upgrading their VDR/SDR systems to enable them to store data for longer durations. The IMO performance standard only requires the VDR/S/VDR to store data for a maximum of 12 hours following an incident before it is overwritten.

A growing number of manufacturers are now offering a „MantaDigital“ S-VDR that can be accessed remotely like the way that airlines’ FDR data is analyzed post-incident. This enables onboard technical issues to be diagnosed remotely and facilitates the implementation of proactive maintenance procedures. Regular shoreside playbacks assist bridge teams in analyzing patterns in their performance and identifying improvement opportunities.