Julian Bray writes: As the trial of the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship gets underway in Italy, and with it some dubious techinical accuracy is peppered around the media . The lastest item of interest is the so called 'Black Box recorder' or more accurately a Voyage Data Recorder [VDR]. This is far more than just a voice recorder ( as it has been called repeatedlyy!) and we give the full range of the telemetrics in a list beow
For this reason, and to comply with SOLAS (Saving Of Lives At Sea) regulations - first introduced after the RMS Titanic disaster, 100 years ago - all ships must now have an active VDR fitted which will record dozens channels of information (data) over a 12 hour period immediately before an incident than its smaller brother on board an aircraft. This is achieved by a continuing recording, which constantly overwrites the recorder, but capturing at least 12 hours of data before an incident.
A VDR or voyage data recorder is an instrument or protected data capsule safely installed on a ship, usually on the upper sun deck or in a forward external exposed position and isn't painted black but 'day-glo' orange or yellow. The kit is set to continuously record vital information channels related to the operation of a vessel. In addition to data collection and recording it als captures radio, ship announcements and general conversation taking place on the bridge and other key areas.
The VDR under SOLAS regulations must capture and record the following:
Date and time
Speed and heading
Communication audio (radio)
Post display data
Echo sounder (!)
Rudder (or azipod propulsion) orders and response
Hull opening (doors) status
Watertight and fire door status
Speed and acceleration
Wind speed and direction
Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK