Voyage Data Recorders

Consilium S-VDR / VDR

Consilium Navigation has designed, manufactured and supplied Voyage Data Recorders for newbuildings and existing passenger ships since the requirement to carry VDR on board ships was initially introduced. SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 20 specifies the carriage requirements.

The pending amendment of Regulation 20 will require most existing ships in international trades to carry at the minimum a simplified version of the VDR called S-VDR. The requirement to carry VDR will gradually be introduced as shown in the table below.

The Consilium S-VDR is a simplified version of the VDR M3 design, offering many optional features besides the basic regulatory requirements. Up to approximately 15,000 existing ships are estimated to be subject to the new S-VDR carriage requirements.

S-VDR Implementation Date Proposal according to IMO MSC78

Existing cargo ships, constructed before 1 July 2002, when engaged in international voyages, shall befitted with S-VDR or VDR as follows:

  • Cargo ships of 20,000 gross tonnage and upward, between 1 July 2006 and 1 July 2009.
  • Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upward but less than 20,000 gross tonnage, between 1 July 2007 and 1 July 2010.
S-VDR Main Unit
The Main Unit controls all other components in the system, It includes the primary data storage and from here the information can be easily exstracted. System configuration and performance checks are also done in the Main Unit.

The system is completely passive and will not interrogate with other systems for data retrieval. The S-VDR system will store data from the past 12 hours (or optionally for longer periods), continuously erasing older data as new data is recorded.

Video input unit
Video Grabber Unit (VGU) has 2 video input channels. The unit records and compresses the images using JPEG compression. The VDR system can have up to two video inputs units or four video inputs. The Video input unit is housed in a separate cabinet.
Audio input unit
Audio Mixer Unit (AMU) has 8 microphone inputs and 2 VHF inputs. Each input has individual gain settings. The inputs are mixed into 4 audio output channels. The audio unit uses compression technique to reduce the size of the recorded audio. The AMU is housed in a separate cabinet.

Microphone Units

The microphones are available for panel or bulkhead mounting as well as installation on open bridge wings. They includes built-in loudspeakers for automatic self-testing.
Serial input unit
The serial or NMEA input unit consist of 1, 2 or 3 modules. Each module has 6 individual NMEA inputs. The unit(s) is placed together with the central in the Main unit cabinet.
Digital and analogue input unit
The Digital and Analogue input unit, called signal converter is an optional unit composed by IO modules. The modules convert analogue or digital signals from different ships instruments into NMEA.


The mandatory storage unit is the fixed capsule or for S-VDR alternatively a floatfree capsule. Both capsules have a storage capacity of 4 GB or 8 GB. The storage time is minimum 12h. The fixed capsule has an exceptional protection against fire and for the full VDR also requirements on mechanical penetration resistance. The float free capsule has a release mechanism that automatically releases the capsule from the bracket in contact with water and automatically starts to transmit a radio signal to simplify retrieval.
Portable Black Box
The Portable Black Box (PBB) is an optional unit that has a storage capacity of up to 500 GB or roughly a couple of week’s data. The PBB is a standalone unit without special protection of the data.

Remote Control Unit

The Remote Control Unit is intended for installation in the bridge main manoeuvre control console. It monitors and indicates status and alarms of the VDR system as well the system recording integrity.


S-VDR Standard Input:
Data type Data source
Date and time GPS
Ship’s position GPS
Speed Speed Log
Heading Gyro
Bridge Audio 3-7 microphones
Communication Audio Designated VHF
Radar (If COTS available) Master radar display
AIS (Mandatory if no Radar) AIS
S-VDR Optional / VDR Standard:
Data type Data source
Depth under keel Echo sounder
Main alarms (Microphones)
Rudder order/response Steering/autopilot
Engine order/response Engine telegraph
Hull openings status Door indication
Watertight doors / fire doors status Door indication
Accelerations and hull stresses Hull stress system
Wind speed/direction Wind indicator
Main Unit F1/S1
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Record period: 12 hrs
Serial input NMEA-0183: Up to 19 channels IEC 61162-1,
1 channel according to IEC 61162-2 (high-speed)
Serial output NMEA-0183: 1 channel, IEC 61162-1
Service Connection: 100Base-TX (IEEE 802.3)
Communication interface: 100Base-TX (IEEE 802.3)
Power failure: 2 hours of continuous recording
Data export features: Data output for industrial USB memory
Power Consumption: < 120 W
Power supply:

115-230 VAC
Dimensions: 583 × 440 × 177 mm
Weight: 19 kg
Audio Mixer Unit (AMU)
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Audio inputs: Up to 8 microphones with self-test mixed to 4 audio channels
VHF inputs: 2 channels
Dimensions: 295 × 258 × 48 mm
Weight: 2.5 kg
Video Grabber Unit (VGU) Can be configured for a capture interval as short as 5 seconds.
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Radar inputs: Display up to 1920×1200 and 60 Hz
Dimensions: 156 × 280 × 147 mm
Weight: 1.4 kg
Microphone AM1
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Loudspeaker: Standard feature for automatic self testing sequence
Housing: for outdoor use IP66 classed
Dimensions: 144 × 48 mm
Weight: 0.2 kg
Remote Control Unit (RCU)
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Emergency incident button: Stores a preconfigured amount of time on an industrial USB stick
TFT color display: For user-friendly system status messages
Acknowledge/mute button: Confirm and silence alarms
Dimmer: Continuously adjustable
Dimensions: 144 × 288 × 54 mm
Weight: 420 g
Fixed Capsule (VDR)
Record period: 12 hrs
Penetration: 250 kg × 100 mm probe at 3 m
Fire protection: 60 minutes at 1100°C

10 hours at 260°C
Impact: IEC 68-2-27, 50 g, 11 ms, and half sine shock
Immersion: 6000 meters depth for 30 days
Underwater acoustic beacon: SAE AS 8045 compliant, supplied with unit
Compass safe distance: 1 m
Dimensions HVR: 200 × Ø178 mm
Dimensions SVR: 197 × Ø178 mm
Weight HVR: 8.7 kg
Weight SVR: 8.1 kg
Supply Voltage: 24 VDC ±20%
Power consumption: 5W max.
Float Free Capsule (S-VDR)
Environmental conditions: Compliant to IEC 61996-2
Record period: 12 hrs
Immersion: 10 m depth at 5 minutes
Memory type: Solid state
Storage media: 2Gb flash disc (standard)
Release mechanism: Hammar H20
Cable length: 2.5 m
Compass safety distance: 1 m
Dimensions capsule: 570 × Ø188 mm
Weight capsule: 3.5 kg
External supply voltage: 10-30 VDC
Current consumption: 0.25A
Analogue/Digital Modules
Environmental conditions: IEC 60945
Analogue/ Digital:

±10 VDC:

4-20 mA:

1024 separated inputs on each Gateway.

8 inputs on each module

8 inputs on each module

16-32 inputs on each module
Dimensions: 82 × 120 × 108 mm
Weight: 0.3 kg
Number of different interfaces/adapters are available on request.
Portable Black Box (PBB)
Environmental conditions: Not according to IMO mandatory regulations
Storage capacity: Min 30 days
Communication interface: 100Base-TX (IEEE 802.3)
LAN port: RJ-45
Dimensions: 160 × 218 × 63 mm
Weight: 3.5 kg
External supply voltage: 90-230 VAC, 50-60 Hz
Internal supply voltage: 12 VDC



Transas VDR / S-VDR 3200

Transas VDR / S-VDR 3200 is type-approved by QinetiQ and meets and exceeds IMO and IEC requirements.

The system is intended for safe collection and storage of voyage data such as ship position, movements, physical condition, bridge commands etc. for a defined time period, with the ability of later playback in accordance with the requirements of IEC 61996-2/61996. In the base configuration under mandatory requirements.

Transas VDR / S-VDR 3200 consists of:

  • Main Electronic Unit (MEU)
  • Indoor/Outdoor Microphones
  • Remote Alarm Unit (RAU)
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply Unit (UPS)
  • Final Recording Medium – Capsule (fixed or float free)
  • VDR/S-VDR 3200 software
  • External Playback Utility in accordance with the requirements of IEC 61996-2/61996


ECDIS Backup Navi-Sailor 3000MEU unit

The MEU is based on a compact computer and contains all equipment necessary to meet mandatory VDR / S-VDR requirements. The unit is supplied with a UPS unit providing in excess of the minimum requirement of power to the computer for over 2 hours of audio recording during a blackout.

MEU parameters:

  • 9 microphones + 1 VHF or 6 microphones + 2 VHF input channels
  • 8 NMEA/IEC 61162 input channels
  • AIS input channel or expansion at 38400 baud
  • 2-line status display
  • 18 LEDs on front panel to show the data activity
  • LAN port for downloading of data to a laptop PC
  • Audible and visual alarms
  • Headphone jack to monitor the digitised audio
  • Push buttons for control of the basic functions
  • Radar picture frame grabbers (optional for S-VDR but mandatory if radar onboard is equipped with a proper video output)
  • 2 ? RS-232 COM ports for TFT control and ADDA converters connection (option)

MEU Dimensions – H600 × W400 × D155 mm


Highly sensitive and self adjusting microphones are intended for audio signal recording.

Dimensions – H124 × W50 × D25 mm

Remote Alarm Unit

Remote audio and visual alarm confirmed with corresponding push button.

RAU Dimensions – H124 × W50 × D25 mm


The Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is designed to prevent blackouts, brownouts, sags and surges from reaching the MEU computer.

UPS Dimensions – H300 × W250 × D155 mm

VDR Capsules

  • MK2 hardened capsule manufactured by DANELEC
  • DRV100 hardened capsule manufactured by KOTEL
  • HVR manufactured by L3 Communications

S-VDR Capsules

  • Fixed SVR manufactured by L3 Communications
  • Float-free RLB-35MC manufactured by ACR Electronics
  • Float-free Tron S-VDR capsule manufactured by Jotron