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DO-278A is better known as the “Software Integrity Assurance” standard.

DO-278A is a strong guideline comprising both recommendations and assessable objectives. DO-278A is intended for use in developing ground-based systems (containing software) which are involved with aircraft operations.

These ground-based systems almost always make heavy use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) technologies including hardware and software. The ground-based systems governed by DO-278A often have much larger, and more diverse, software components than their airborne avionic counterparts.

Consequently, the size, diversity, and increased reliance upon COTS technology all play a key role in the need for DO-278A and the difference between DO-278A and DO-178C.

Most analysts believe maintaining the “integrity” part of software integrity assurance is a substantial challenge. Nonetheless, the benefits of software integrity in the aviation industry are considerable even though it can be difficult to achieve.

Integrity, for example, can have profound benefits for your code, because it ensures that:

  • Coding defects are identified and addressed sooner
  • Code remains agile, modular and maintainable
  • Cyber-threats are mitigated
  • Code development is well documented and organized
  • Code regulations and industry standards are met
  • Analytics are clear, detailed and accessible.

Today, DO-278A is a standalone document. Although it describes many activities, processes, and objectives that are in common with DO-178C, it is no longer necessary to use them side-by-side.

The Assurance Levels in DO-278A are labeled AL1 through AL6 and they are slightly different from those in DO-178C where they are labeled A through E. DO-278A has specific objectives based upon the assurance level (AL) of the software

Want to Learn More? Tonex offers DO-278A Training Software Integrity Assurance, a 3-day course that provides participants with the knowledge, concepts, principals, history, standards and tools relevant to DO-278A. Learn about DO-278A, Software Integrity Assurance Considerations for Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems.

DO-278A training is delivered in two separate modules: lectures and practical activities. Participants will learn all the theoretical material needed to develop and implement DO-278A via fun, interactive lectures and then they will experience what they have been taught through practical activities.

The Practical module includes several labs, group activities and hands-on seminars.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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