Flood, network disconnection, power failures: Testing the tech of the Rio Olympics

The athletes haven't arrived yet but the tech team are approaching the end of their own marathon preparations.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

The Technology Operations Centre which will oversee the systems which support the Rio Olympics.

Image: Atos

After 200,000 hours of work, testing the tech behind the communications, media, sports, and security systems for the Rio Olympic games has been completed.

The 'technical rehearsal' is designed to test readiness based on the three busiest days of the Games, which are expected to be August 9, 10, and 12.

During the final technical rehearsal, nearly 1,000 different scenarios were tested out including a flood, network disconnection, power failures, changes to the competition schedule, and security attacks -- across the 22 Olympic venues.

The team from technology provider Atos were assessed on how they responded to each scenario so that they could tweak their responses during the games themselves.

This is the final step in the games' testing strategy, which took place between August 2014 and May 2016, and included 44 sport test events.

Testing for the systems, such as the accreditation system and volunteer portal, are being managed via the cloud for the first time.

Although the Rio Olympics doesn't start until August, the services that underpin it are already being used: last month the first of 300,000 accreditations for media, athletes, sports officials, and sponsors were issued.

And from 25 July, the Technology Operations Centre will be at full capacity with 500 staff covering 187 positions to manage and monitor the technology infrastructure and systems.

Elly Resende, Rio 2016 technology director, said: "By simulating real events at real venues under conditions very close to those during the actual games allows us to fully prepare all the key players involved to ensure a successful Olympic Games."

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