Litton Marine Systems recently completed the first installation of a complete Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) with IMO-compliant protective memory capsule. The Litton VoyageMaster VDR system was installed on the new Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Radiance of the Seas at the Meyer Werft shipyard
in Papenburg, Germany. Thomas A. King, Jr., Litton business area director for information technology, stated, "The new RCI cruise ship will be the first in the world to our knowledge to be fitted with a complete VDR including the recoverable IMO-compliant protective memory capsule."
The VDR is designed to perform a similar function to an aircraft's "black box," recording vital information from the ship's sensors and voice recorders in a hardened data capsule for analysis by safety investigators following an incident at sea. International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations require that all new ships over 3,000 grt, constructed after July 1, 2002, be fitted with an approved VDR.
The VoyageMaster VDR system has been designed to meet or exceed all requirements of IMO A.861.20, IEC 61996 and EC Directive 1999/35/EC. Type approval testing has been completed, and full IMO type acceptance and EU Wheelmark are expected from DNV within the next three months, according to King.
The small, lightweight protective memory capsule is designed with a unique single-handed quick release mechanism for easy recovery. It meets the most stringent requirements for impact and fire resistance, and it is designed to withstand deep-sea pressures at up to 6,000 m.
Beyond the "black box" function, the VoyageMaster VDR can be configured to supply the ship and office administration systems with critical voyage data for automated reports/logs, voyage performance, trends, analysis and more. This optional configuration may also include a satellite interface for transferring critical VDR data from ship to shore.