What is VDR?
At its most basic, a VDR is a substantial data recording system required under IMO mandate for commercial SOLAS vessels. The IMO defines a VDR as a system as ‘Like the black boxes carried on aircraft, VDRs enable accident investigators to review procedures and instructions in the moments before an incident and help to identify the cause of any accident.’ The legal requirement is for passenger ships and ships other than passenger ships of 3000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002 must carry voyage data recorders (VDR) to assist in accident investigations, under regulations adopted in 2000. A VDR should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leadingup to and following an incident
The Netwave NW6000
The NW6000 2021 mid-life refresh, as part of the re-certification program to incorporate Netwave’s new analogue microphones, has meant Seas of Solutions’ Netherlands based engineering team have used service engineer feedback to identify upgrades and new features that improve both the user experience and ease of installation through greater versatility in the design.
The new features include:
A new IP66 rated ship analogue microphone, offering a range of benefits over our existing digital microphones, including the cost saving of using existing analogue cabling when retrofitting older variant VDRs. The components are designed for ease of installation and can be used both internally and externally, reducing the need for multiple microphone types and offering greater consistency in fitting and performance. Devised to reduce the complexity of fitting to an existing VDR installation, with retrofit plates available on request, the unit’s flexibility is reflected by its ability to be flush or surface mounted.
New VDR Audio Hub that greatly increases the versatility of the VDR installation by offering the flexibility of supporting six simultaneously audio channels. These channels can be individually configured for either analogue microphone or VHF radio interface. The hubs ability to both communicate and be powered via Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows the microphones to be connected and powered directly to the audio hub, removing the need for cable daisy chaining required with digital microphones. The hub configuration can be carried out via the newly developed web-based configuration tool. The Audio Hub platform reduces the requirement for PoE ports, ideal for expanding VDR systems where more microphones are required. All microphones can be played back on their individual channels.
New VDR Player V2 playback software is based on web technologies that allow automatic configuration for common data sources, such as audio, video and NMEA, independent of the VDR configuration. The instinctive user interface allows filtering of the NMEA sources toolbox and supports double bridge system playback.
A New VDR Configurator has been developed using web-based technologies allowing system configuration by interfacing directly by the VDR, offering greater time saving efficiency than the previous Player V1 configuration software. The VDR configurator also integrates a VDR Software Upgrade utility making the existing Update Manager application in many ways redundant. The network scan identifies new devices that can be installed, utilises a user-friendly drag and drop interface for adding data sources to be recorded and/or configured. The network scan also highlights installed devices that are out of the VDR network and also installed devices that have dropped off and are missing.
Software Upgrades including Bridge Alert Management (BAM) support with Ethernet and Serial BAM alert reporting options available. LWE 450 software updates to support out of network bridge systems and NMEA and BAM Analyzer tools are provided as separate floating windows running from the VDR. For added security the Netwave VDR web site uses secure https connection with optional external VLAN switch for installations requiring a higher level of security.
Ease of Installation upgrades with the inclusion of a multi-purpose welding plate with the NW6000 reduces the difficulty of retrofitting fixed capsules from other brands of VDR, by removing the need to weld new fittings in place. Combined with new cabling in the core module to simplify the battery replacement process, the NW6000 upgrades are designed with installation engineers in mind, reducing complexity and improving the user experience