Current location for King Malu

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Voyage Data Recorder

We went out for a short sail... first to anchor in front of Finikoudes and then out for 20-30 minutes and back to the marina. From my point of view the aim was to test the new algorithm for the VDR-L (Voyage Data Recorder) and... I was extremely pleased. Looks like this one has cracked it - no missing data points now.

Now when the engine is running and the SOG is slow (less than 3 knots) it logs data points every 60 seconds so you have a record of all the maneuvering. When the engine isn't running or the SOG is greater than 3 knots we assume motoring/sailing in open water and so the normal algorithm means that the faster we go, the more rapidly we take readings, hence the points are roughly equally spaced under those conditions.

Zoom in to the marina and you will see the points even show where we motored as we exited and then re-entered the marina. You can only tell which is which by clicking on them and looking at the time stamp. The cluster just south of the marina is where we anchored.

I'm just using Google Fusion Tables for the display, as a quick and dirty way of getting the data onto a map. It imports straight from Excel, which makes it easy for me to handle.

This isn't an IMO approved VDR, but a very much simplified one for a leisure yacht. Here's the list from wikipedia of what should be recorded - green means working, yellow means possible, but not yet installed, red means possible but I'm not going to do it (it would be invasive and complicated to do) and grey means not relevant to a leisure yacht:
  • Position, date, time using GPS.
  • Speed log – Speed through water or speed over ground.
  • Compass – Heading.
  • Radar* – As displayed or AIS data if no off-the-shelf converter available for the Radar video.
  • Audio from the bridge, including bridge wings.
  • VHF radio communications.
  • Echo Sounder* – Depth under keel.
  • Main alarms* – All IMO mandatory alarms.
  • Hull openings* – Status of hull doors as indicated on the bridge.
  • Watertight & fire doors* status as indicated on the bridge.
  • Hull stress* – Accelerations and hull stresses.
  • Rudder* – Order and feedback response.
  • Engine/Propellor* – Order and feedback response.
  • Thrusters* – Status, direction, amount of thrust % or RPM. 
  • Anemometer and weather vane* – Wind speed and direction

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