The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is an essential device installed on ships to record and store critical data related to the vessel’s navigation and operation. The VDR must record specific information to ensure a comprehensive record of events leading up to an incident or accident. The following data is typically recorded by the VDR:

1) Date and time: The VDR records the exact date and time of each event or occurrence.

2) Ship’s position: It captures the vessel’s geographical position at regular intervals.

3) Speed and heading: The VDR records the ship’s speed and the direction it is heading in.

4) Bridge audio: It captures audio recordings from the bridge, including conversations and instructions.

5) Communication audio: The VDR records radio communications between the ship and shore or other vessels.

6) Radar data: It includes radar information such as targets detected and their relative positions.

7) ECDIS data: The VDR records Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) data, which displays navigational charts.

8) Echo sounder: It records depth soundings used for navigation and determining water depth.

9) Main alarm: The VDR captures the activation of main alarms on the vessel.

10) Rudder order and response: It records the commands given to the rudder and the vessel’s response.

11) Hull opening door status: The VDR tracks the status (open or closed) of hull opening doors.

12) Speed and acceleration: It records the ship’s speed changes and acceleration rates.

13) Hull stresses: The VDR captures information on the structural stresses experienced by the vessel.

14) Wind speed and direction: It records the prevailing wind conditions.

15) Watertight and fire door status: The VDR monitors the status of watertight and fire doors on the vessel.

In addition to the VDR, there is a simplified version called the Simplified Voyage Data Recorder (SVDR). The SVDR is designed for smaller ships and has fewer recording requirements compared to the standard VDR. It captures essential ship’s data in a secure and retrievable form. While it may not store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, it still maintains important information about the ship’s position, movement, physical status, and command and control leading up to an incident.

The primary difference between the VDR and SVDR lies in the extent of additional data recording requirements. Both devices serve the crucial purpose of providing a record of events for analysis and investigation in case of accidents or incidents at sea.

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