DO-178C is now the de facto approach for the use of software in military avionics systems worldwide.
And it’s not surprising. The DO-178C standard’s popularity is based on several factors such as there is more thorough testing via DO-178C. Also with DO-178C, there is a 100% high- and low-level requirements coverage and greater robustness coverage with clarity.
Additionally, the software structural coverage are deterministic verification aspects of DO-178C.
The purpose of DO-178C is to provide guidance for developing airborne software systems to ensure that it performs its intended function with a level of confidence commiserate with its airworthiness requirement.
DO-178C exists because advances in software engineering technologies and methodologies since the release of DO-178B made consistent application of the DO-178 objectives difficult.
Subsequently, in 2012, DO-178C/ED-12C was released, which clarified details and removed inconsistencies from DO-178B, and which also includes supplements that provide guidance for design assurance when specific technologies are used, supporting a more consistent approach to compliance for software developers using these technologies.
DO-178C guidance also clarified some details within DO-178B so that the original intent could be better understood and more accurately met by developers.
The DO-178C standard should be at the forefront of any planning for new commercial software-based aerospace systems and follow the basic design assurance principle that you say what you are going to do before you do it.
The idea is to ensure that what you plan to do will meet the required DO-178C objectives and provide evidence to demonstrate this.
There’s often the misconception that DO-178C is about testing. However, in actuality, testing forms a part – but not the whole – of verification.
While testing follows development in the software life cycle, verification is really a concurrent process that carries on throughout. The planning stage of DO-178C, for example, requires development of a Software Verification Plan (SVP).
Verification includes these aspects:
- Review – of plans, design artefacts and trace-ability
- Testing – to software requirements
- Analysis – where testing would be either inconclusive or too expensive to be conclusive
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Advanced DO-178 Training Workshop, a 4-day course that covers the aspects of DO-178C guideline, as well as its supplementary standards. Participants are introduced to the philosophy, rationale, and history behind DO-178C and will learn about the methods and techniques required to develop and implement it in your organization.
Advanced DO-178C training workshop also covers the main notions behind DO-178B/C avionics certification. It also reviews the differences between DO-178B and DO-178C.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.