Sperry Marine won multiple type approvals from classification societies and national authorities for the VoyageMaster Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) system. The type approvals certify that the VoyageMaster system meets or exceeds all requirements for shipboard VDR equipment to meet the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) carriage requirements, which come into effect July 1, 2002.
The VoyageMaster VDR, similar to an aircraft "black box," records vital information concerning the ship's position, movement, physical status and command and control for the period leading up to and following an incident. The data, including voice recordings from bridge microphones and VHF radio, is stored in a hardened memory capsule for recovery and analysis by safety investigators following an incident at sea. Beyond its "black box" function, the VoyageMaster VDR can serve as an important management tool
supplying the ship's master and shoreside offices with critical voyage data for automated reports/logs, voyage performance, trend analysis and crew training.
Originally type approved by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) late last year, the VoyageMaster system has since been awarded further approvals by QinetiQ (formerly DERA) in the United Kingdom
, BSH in Germany
and the Croatian national authority
. Additional type approvals are pending from China
The IMO regulations require that all passenger ships and new cargo ships over 3,000 gross tonnage must be fitted with an approved VDR system by July 1, 2002.