Silverjack Resort, located somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, is booming with activity. Guests from around the world travel to Silverjack to enjoy winter activities in a scenic location. Thanks to abundant natural and manufactured snow, the sporting season extends from November through April. Silverjack's 10 lifts offer guests access to a wide variety of terrain, whether they're skiers, snowboarders, or snowshoers. All these factors make Silverjack an attractive winter resort destination. Revenues have continually increased since the initial opening season, making the board of directors and investors happy. The forward-thinking Resort board members know that application of technology can make the mountain safer, the operations more efficient, and the guests' experience more enjoyable. They know that cutting-edge technology can help attract customers to Silverjack.
The board allocated funds for Project Trailblazer, which is a data acquisition and control system serving all of the Silverjack Resort. The board wants this information system to be reliable, robust, and low cost; to use off-the-shelf hardware; and to be designed, deployed, and tested within six months.
The Silverjack Engineering Department, with input from the Operations Department, developed a set of high-level requirements in three areas: safety, operations, and suppliers. These requirements don't contain any specific technical details. Rather, they offer guidelines to what needs to be developed. The board reviewed and approved these high-level requirements. They gave the Engineering Department a green light to start Project Trailblazer.
With great enthusiasm, the Engineering Department started designing Project Trailblazer. It quickly discovered that Project Trailblazer was basically a giant integration project with a short development timeframe. The department needs a flexible and reliable solution that connects serial, parallel, input/output (I/O) port, and universal serial bus (USB) devices to the operations center. After the department attended a conference on embedded systems, the answer was clear: It needed to use embedded Linux.