Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded type approval by the U.S. Coast Guard for the Sperry Marine VoyageMaster
II Simplified Voyage Data Recorder (S-VDR). The Coast Guard type approval certifies that the Sperry Marine S-VDR meets the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) carriage requirements and International Electrotechnical Commission performance standards for “black box” recording devices on cargo ships. Similar to the cockpit recorders on aircraft, the S-VDR provides a permanent record of data from the ship’s sensors and audio recordings from the bridge for use in post-incident analysis.
The S-VDR is a simplified version of the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), which is currently required for all new ships constructed since 2002. The S-VDR standard was adopted by the IMO to provide for retrofitting recorders on older ships, many of which were built with older analog devices that cannot easily be interfaced to the VDR.
The S-VDR carriage requirement applies to all cargo ships larger than 20,000 gross tons as of July 1 and will be extended to smaller ships from 3,000-20,000 gross tons on July 1, 2007.
Sperry Marine’s S-VDR product has received similar type approval from the German certification authority Bundesamt für Seeschiffahrt & Hydrographie.