A common theme you will notice the first half of this year is almost all of our updates for Orion and Athena are resilience updates. This means we are improving the software to better handle unexpected events. In this release we emphasized three such unexpected events, power loss, internet loss, and a firing point loss.
Power loss is an interesting problem to solve. Obviously, when the power goes out there is not much you can do when you have an electronic range; power is a basic requirement. The challenge comes when trying to make sure no data is lost, especially scored shots. Ideally, when the power does go out, when it comes back on, your range, and the state of your match, is exactly where it was when the power went out.
Internet loss is another challenge. In the year 2023 the Internet is ubiquitous with our lives, and our competitions. It is impossible to design a modern competition management system without the Internet. As such Orion and Athena require Internet access. Still, Internet access can go out periodically and your match must still go on. Our goal is therefore to allow you to run your practices and matches even if the Internet goes out temporarily. Some spectator enhancements may be lost because of the temporary outage, but the match must proceed unaffected.
The final challenge in this release we tried to tackle is the loss of a firing point. Murphy’s law applied to electronic scoring targets (EST) is clear, the only time a firing point will go down is in the middle of the match. While fictitious, this made up law sure feels real when it happens for real. ESTs, like any mechanical and electrical system, will eventually break. Match directors can mitigate this by regularly performing maintenance and purposefully squadding “hospital points”. With hospital points, when a firing point does break, the affected athlete may be moved and quickly resume their competition shots.
While we won’t bore our customers with the technology we deployed to address these challenges, suffice to say this latest release of Orion (version 2.16.4) and Athena (version 1.4.7) addresses each of these unique unexpected events. We encourage our customers to upgrade to these new versions to help make sure your practices and competitions run more smoothly when the unexpected does happen.