Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced a joint success with Japan Radio Co., Ltd. and JSAT MOBILE Communications Inc. in building a network that shares data recorded in Voyage Data Recorders (VDR) by using Fleet Xpress provided by Inmarsat, a high-capacity, high-speed satellite telecommunication service.
Like the flight data and cockpit voice recorders on airplanes, VDR records data on vessel movement (position, navigation speed, main engine rpm, and so on), voice communication on the bridge, image data on nautical instruments such as radar, and the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). An international treaty mandates that large-scale vessels and passenger ships that ply international waters be equipped with VDR, in order to analyze and identify the background and causes of marine incidents, based on data collected by the VDR prior to such incidents.
Conventionally, VDR data was accumulated in its main unit onboard, so the data had to be stored in secondary storage such as hard disk drive and mailed to offices on shore. This meant shore-side personnel could not access this data during the voyage. And varying postal systems at ports around the world made it difficult to get data on a timely basis.
With real-time monitoring, the network can receive and monitor VDR-collected information related to various nautical instruments and the main engine of the vessel, and determine the movement of the vessel on the nautical chart by transferring the data to ECDIS.