April 11th, 2014

NJOSC Showcases State-of-the-Art Scoring Technology

National Junior Olympics Colorado ShootingThe 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) take place this month in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The prestigious event, which runs through April 26th, kicked off yesterday with air pistol matches.

Following the pistol competition, Women’s Rifle takes to the range April 16-20, and then the NJOSC will conclude with Men’s Rifle, April 22-26. Both rifle weeks will include both Air Rifle and Three-Position (smallbore) competition.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

For the first time in the history of the National Junior Olympics, all competitors will shoot on electronic targets. USA Shooting completed a massive range upgrade to improve lighting and enhance the spectator experience by incorporating more than 70 new electronic targets. This is cutting-edge technology that allows both real-time scoring and even live video streaming on the internet. Shown below are the target print-outs for Air Pistol.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

In our dreams we could hope for electronic scoring at high power and long-range centerfire events. Wouldn’t it be cool to have scores appear instantaneously, in real time? In addition, after firing a relay you could get a print-out that would show the exact placement of your shots in the scoring rings. That would be handy for analyzing your wind calls. But best of all, with electronic targets, shooters would no longer have to pull pit duty in the hot sun! Over time we may see more of this technology for centerfire competition. We’re told that the new 500-acre, $20 million CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, being built in Alabama, will have some electronic scoring capabilities.

USA Shooting Video Streaming of Junior Olympics Events
On its YouTube channel, USA Shooting will provide Live and recorded events from the USA Shooting Olympic Training Center Ranges in Colorado Springs. As we write this, the NJOSC 2014 Men & Women Air Pistol Day 2 Air Pistol Relays are streaming. CLICK Here for NJOSC Videos and Streamed Events.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

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March 7th, 2013

New CMP Mobile Range Serves Air Rifle Shooters Nationwide

mobile cmp air rifle rangeStory based on report by Ashley Brugnone for CMP’s First Shot Online Magazine

High-Tech Hits the Road
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has a portable air gun range that travels around the country in trailer rigs. The CMP’s new $425,000 mobile range features 60 electronic targets, automated target lifts, target monitors (for 60 stations), and jumbo viewing screens for spectators. Positioned on tables along the firing line (photo below), the 60 MEGALink color screens show scores in real time. The high-tech electronic targets provide quick and accurate results, and spectators can watch a “live feed” on eight big-screen LED television monitors. The entire system is controlled by a trio of computers which do the scoring and operate the targets, lifts, and TVs.

mobile cmp air rifle range

mobile cmp air rifle range

The CMP’s state-of-the art, mobile air gun range boasts 60 electronic MEGAlink targets produced in Norway. MEGAlink is the same target system used at CMP North and South stationary air ranges. The MEGAlink target “boxes” are each connected to a lift system than can raise and lower the targets for 3-position shooting. All of the components are designed so that the range can be quickly constructed using as few as three people. A large trailer can haul all 60 targets plus all the related monitors, computers, tables, chairs, and hardware in one load-out.

mobile cmp air rifle range

mobile cmp air rifle range“With travel being difficult for competitors to make it to Ohio or Alabama, the idea of the mobile range arose to transport electronic targets to the shooters instead of them coming to us,” said James Hall, CMP Program Outreach Supervisor. Because of its versatile design, the range can be used as either a 60-point range or broken down into three sets of 20 targets or two sets of 30 targets. “The range can be set up in almost any combination of targets, which allows small gyms and conference centers to host a match with maximum target use,” said Hall.

The first “trial” match of the Mobile Range was at the Montgomery Bell Classic in Nashville, TN in October 2012. “The match was a success, not only for the Montgomery Bell Academy, but also for the CMP,” Hall said. “The targets ran well, and we received a positive response from spectators.” Other CMP events where the range has been put to the test include the 5th Brigade Championship in Kerrville, TX in December 2012 and the Bass Pro 600 in Leeds, AL in January 2013.

mobile cmp air rifle range

All packed up and ready to go, the CMP’s Mobile Range will roll on to future events, including the JROTC Service Championship in Salt Lake City, UT, 4H Nationals in Grand Island, NE, the American Legion Championship in Colorado Springs, CO and various CMP summer camps and clinics. “The Mobile Range has generated a great response,” Hall admitted. “We hope it continues to give shooters out west and other areas of the United States a chance to compete.”

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March 1st, 2012

New Orion Scanning System Approved for NRA Airgun Comps

Orion Scoring SystemLooks like the days of manual target scoring are numbered — at least for airgun shooters. Effective April 23, 2012 (after this year’s Sectionals) the NRA will accept targets digitally scanned and scored with the new Orion Scoring System. Produced by Shooter’s Technology in Virginia, the Orion System exceeds the accuracy standards set by the ISSF, and routinely scores shots within .04mm. Currently the Orion scoring system can work with 5m BB gun targets, 10m Air Rifle Targets, 10m Air Pistol Targets, and 50-foot smallbore (.22LR Rimfire) targets.

50m Smallbore Capability in Development
Orion is working hard on more powerful software that will be able to score 50m smallbore targets — but that’s still many months away.

The makers of the Orion Scoring System claim it can score targets faster, more accurately, and more reliably than scoring by hand using calipers and target plugs. Orion 2.0 will score a 12-bull air rifle target in about 5 seconds — that’s up to five times faster than manual methods. Single-shot accuracy is consistently between .04mm and .10mm, even for low velocity sporter air rifles. Multiple-shot accuracy (when two or more shots overlap on a target) is between .10mm and .25mm.

Orion Scoring System

The Orion Scoring System is a new technology that automates the scoring process. Shooters fire at specially-designed paper targets sourced from Orion. Once each stage of the match is completed, targets are collected and then digitized using commercial scanners. The Orion software reads the target image files, and scores each shot using an image processing algorithm.

Orion’s Dr. Erik Anderson explains how the system works: “Orion’s scoring process uses a computer vision algorithm known formally as ‘Visual Image Scoring’ (VIS). VIS works in a three-step process. First, VIS calculates the precise center of the aiming bull by extrapolating and using the edge of the aiming bull. Second, VIS locates the center of each shot using a similar process using data from the shot hole edge. Finally, the distance between these two locations, called the radial distance, is used to determine the score value. A key to Orion’s accuracy is using the complete shot hole edge. In comparison, manual methods of scoring only look at the inner most edge point and thus have a limited amount of data to determine the shot value.” Anderson says the Orion Scoring System can be as accurate as very expensive electronic targets, though the Orion requires a much smaller investment in hardware. The only special equipment a shooting club needs is a decent flatbed scanner for the targets. Orion says: “most flat-bed scanners manufactured in the last five years are likely to work with Orion.” Another advantage of the Orion System over electronic targets is that a physical copy of the target exists. The match results won’t disappear if someone fries a computer hard-drive.

Orion Scoring System

Orion Match Management and Score Publishing Functions
The Orion Scoring System can generate ranked results and instantly post them online. Once a shooting facility links up to Orion’s Online Results Center, match results (and target scores) can be uploaded for later viewing on the web. If the range lacks a web connection, the Orion score data can be captured on a thumb drive and moved to a computer hooked up to the web.

How Accurate is Orion?
Orion is designed to meet or exceed the accuracy requirements set by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF):

Air Rifle: 0.125mm radial error
Air Pistol: 0.40mm radial error
50ft Rifle: 0.122mm radial error

How Fast is Orion?
The time it takes to score a set of targets depends on scanner speed and computer processing power. On a dual-core 2.6GHz machine, with Canon DR-6010C scanner, Orion will score:

An air rifle 3×20 set of targets in 1 minute 25 seconds
A smallbore 3×40 set of targets in 1 minutes 55 seconds
A 60 shot air pistol course in 2 minutes 30 seconds

Orion is available from three sources: Shooter’s Technology, the makers of the Orion Scoring System, Gold Medal Shooting, and 10.9.com. Orion is licensed on an annual basis. The first year license fee is $398. The fee for the second year (and each subsequent year) is $78. Separate licenses are required for air rifle, air pistol and 50-foot pistol. Both the National Three Position Air Rifle Council and USA Shooting have approved Orion-based scoring for airgun matches.

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in The NRA Blog.
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