Furuno’s VR7000 VDR & VR7000S (S)VDR Voyage Data Recorder Series represent Furuno’s current and improved VDR Family; replacing the previous Furuno VR3000 and VR5000 VDR Series.
The Furuno VR-7000 VDR collects data from all interfaced sensors on board the vessel, storing it in an external data recording unit. VDRs are similar to the black boxes carried on an aircraft.
The system comes with two tamper-proof DRU units, one fixed and one float-free. They are designed to withstand extreme impact, pressure, shock, and heat which may occur during an incident. When the DRU is retrieved, the stored data can be replayed by the authorities to investigate the cause of the accident.
Under regulation 20 of SOLAS chapter V on Voyage Data Recorders (VDR), the following ships are required to carry VDRs:
· Passenger ships constructed on or after 1 July 2002;
· Ro-Ro passenger ships constructed before 1 July 2002 not later than the first survey on or after 1 July 2002;
· Passenger ships other than ro-ro passenger ships constructed before 1 July 2002 not later than 1 January 2004; and
· Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002.
VDRs are required to meet performance standards “not inferior to those adopted by the Organization”.
Performance standards for VDRs were adopted in 1997 and give details on data to be recorded and VDR specifications. They state that the VDR should continuously maintain sequential records of preselected data items relating to status and output of the ship’s equipment and command and control of the ship. The VDR should be installed in a protective capsule that is brightly coloured and fitted with an appropriate device to aid location. It should be entirely automatic in normal operation.”