Saturday, July 21, 2012

Costa Concordia Black Box

Voyage Data Recorder (VDR)

The pre-trial hearing for the Costa Concordia disaster has been continued until October 15th due to technical difficulties analyzing the ship's "black box".  

The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) would look very similar to the one pictured here courtesy of Maine Insight.  It's purpose, much like a similar device on an airplane, is to capture critical data about the ship which could be used in an investigation.

In addition to capturing vital data, it is capable of recording up to 12 hours of voice data, which would be very useful in the investigation.

Sensors are located on the ship's bridge, and other prominent locations, from which data is constantly collected and stored in the unit  Conversations from the bridge  could be manually triggered as well, such as during an incident, so that a fresh set of data would be gathered starting from that point in time.

Data is compressed and digitized for storage in the protective storage unit, mounted in a safe location.
The device can withstand severe weather, fire, collisions, and other hazards.     (Read more)

Costa Concordia VDR

There have been reports prior to today that the VDR on the Costa Concordia was faulty.   An email leaked to Italian media claimed that a faulty black box, open watertight doors, faulty ship instruments, and unapproved maps were partially responsible for this terrible accident.

When Judge Valeria Montesarchio  rescheduled the hearing today, we learned that it is indeed possible that there were some issues with the VDR.   The findings from that unit were to have been made public today.

Follow the Legal Proceedings:   Costa Concordia Legal Update
Complete Coverage: Costa Concordia Listing after Deadly Accident

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