codeBeamer ALM helps you achieve compliance with aviation standards and regulations by allowing you to implement mature processes, and to efficiently report on the entire development lifecycle. codeBeamer is a TÜV “Trusted Tool” platform certified as a solution that adequately supports safety-critical development.
Software quality, traceability, and overall product safety are of vital importance in the development of avionics end products. Design considerations and lifecycle activities are subject to rigorous regulations to achieve safety objectives. In order to comply with DO-178C, DO-254 and other FAA, CAA or DOD regulations that prove the airworthiness of their products, aviation development companies have to ensure that:
- safety criticality and objectives are defined and achieved during development
- requirements are traceable to source code and test cases
- all stages of the software development lifecycle are adequately documented.
Challenges of Compliance in Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Development
The development of airborne products, aviation software, and embedded avionics systems is subject to the complex requirements of various rigorous standards and stringent regulations. These documents, developed by regulatory bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and those of other regulatory bodies aim to ensure the safety, reliability and overall airworthiness of avionics end products.
Key to obtaining certification is the guidance (and de facto standard) that is known as DO-178B, and its updated version DO-178C (RTCA DO-178B and C, or EUROCAE ED-12B or C). In Europe, functional safety certification is supported by the CASS Scheme to assess compliance with IEC 61508 and related standards.
RTCA/DO-254, titled Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware, is another important standard that provides guidance to the development of airborne electronic hardware systems. DO-254 can be regarded as a counterpart to DO-178C, and their combination aims to ensure the safety and reliability of avionics equipment containing both hardware and software components.
Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template
The flexible architecture and advanced capabilities of codeBeamer ALM help you ensure and show gapless traceability throughout the development lifecycle. Its preconfigured aviation template simplifies process control and reporting, and lets you efficiently achieve compliance with DO-178B and DO-178C, as well as DO-254 and other relevant international avionics standards. Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template leverages codeBeamer ALM’s advanced capabilities to facilitate compliance audits.
codeBeamer’s Features for Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Development
Using Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template, you can systematically manage initial and changing requirements for your software or hardware project. codeBeamer’s capabilities let you specify, organize and document your requirements, while the system also serves as a central information repository for requirements attributes, status information, and associations to tests, source code or regulatory documents. Requirements may be saved in libraries for re-use. To ensure data consistency and to support collaboration between both internal teams and 3rd party suppliers, a round-trip export-import feature is offered via MS Excel and MS Word.
Clearly specifying your requirements is only the beginning of the work. codeBeamer ALM will also help you connect actual feature requests, change requests, tasks, defects and test cases to the requirements captured. Both the requirements and the actionable work items can be organized into hierarchies in order to better model the problem domain.
Due to codeBeamer’s flexible data model, artifact linking capability, and single central repository, the whole lifecycle of your product can be precisely tracked from the requirement capturing phase through development and testing all the way to release. A full change history is logged on all work items & may be browsed any time. A Traceability Browser helps visualize and overview the links between your artifacts, and lets you trace your requirements all the way through to the released product. A Test Coverage Browser helps you ensure that all your requirements are covered with test cases.
codeBeamer’s QA & Testing functionality lets you define test cases, compose test sets, and execute tests manually or automatically on multiple hardware and software configurations. Parametrized testing is supported, and test may be saved into libraries for re-use. Associating tests with requirements and releases helps maintain complete traceability. Test result data analysis is supported, with coverage analysis (Test Coverage Browser) and customizable dashboards. Tests may be automated via codeBeamer’s Jenkins integration.
codeBeamer’s wide range of security and process workflow features are designed to comply with regulations and standards defined by the FAA and EASA, which demand applying DO-178B or C (ED-12B or C in Europe) for the software development processes of airborne flight equipment and avionics software.
Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template provides project- and role-based security features, and preconfigured workflows to support compliance. Projects serve as secure working environments where access permissions can be set on different layers and granularity levels. Highly customizable workflows with optional electronic signatures for approval help ensure that important documents and specifications are reviewed before being published.
codeBeamer’s customizable workflows and processes can easily be configured to support your company’s standard operating procedures. Workflows may be easily visualized, and conditional actions (triggered by certain events) as well as guards can be easily set. Repeatable processes ensure higher product quality, less errors and reduced project costs.
Using baselines lets you create lightweight snapshots of the entire set of specifications, including wiki pages, documents, images, attachments, comments, and all other types of artifacts & data. This is the primary means for versioning the states of the rapidly changing requirement specifications along their evolution. Baselines are optimal for comparing two states of documentation, identifying differences between two states for audit & certification purposes.
codeBeamer ALM is not a static platform: it is inherently flexible and configurable by providing configuration options for work item data types, workflows, etc. in a convenient graphical user interface. Thus, the system will adapt to your needs, and not the other way around. In addition to offering out-of-the-box integrations, using codeBeamer’s REST API (Application Programming Interface), the system can be easily extended beyond this configuration level and integrated with your own applications, third party tools and services.
Overview of Related Standards
RTCA DO-178B or C / EUROCAE ED-12B or C – Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification
RTCA DO-178B and EUROCAE ED-12B are similar guidelines published under different names in the US and in Europe. In 2011, the standard has been revised and published as DO-178C (RTCA DO-178C and EUROCAE ED-12C) with updates and adjustments to its previous version.
DO-178C is not a standard per se: it’s a set of guidelines on how to carry out the planning, development and verification of safety-critical airborne software. It encompasses software considerations around planning, development process output, verification and quality assurance as well as configuration management in the development of aviation software. DO-178B/C was not intended to be prescriptive, and thus there may be several possible and acceptable ways to comply with its requirements.
DO-178B/C requires developers to define the following safety criticality levels for their products or its components, which help determine the level of rigour they need to demonstrate in their development activities:
- Level A – Catastrophic: prevent continued safe flight or landing
- Level B – Hazardous/Severe-Major: potential fatal injuries to a small number of occupants
- Level C – Major: impairs crew efficiency, discomfort or possible injuries to occupants
- Level D – Minor: reduced aircraft safety margins, but well within crew capabilities
- Level E – No Effect: does not affect the safety of the aircraft at all
For each level, the guidance provides a series of objectives for the various software lifecycle processes and a series of tasks to be carried out to meet the objectives. It also defines the evidence or artifacts necessary for proving the achievement of these objectives. However, DO-178B/C alone is not sufficient to guarantee software safety and is not intended to be used in isolation, but rather in conjunction with, for instance, IEEE STD-1228-1994 software safety plans, and other standards & regulations.
Emphasis is placed upon demonstrating that the software meets requirements, and the verification of this fact. This is why, during the verification process, testing must be based upon the requirements. The safety analysis is carried out as part of the application lifecycle.
Intland’s Avionics DO-178C Template supports compliance with DO-178B/C by defining and enforcing the use of set processes across the product development lifecycle. Requirements-based development, independent verification, gapless end-to-end traceability, as well as a strong emphasis on change and software configuration management enable teams to implement repeatable processes and provide accurate audit trails.
As the hardware counterpart of DO-178C, DO-254 addresses considerations of hardware design assurance in airborne electronic hardware products. It aims to ensure the safe and dependable operation of such complex electronic hardware devices, and thus, that of aircrafts.
DO-254 sets forth five levels of compliance based on the severity of risks posed by the failure of the hardware products in question. Ranging from “no effect on the aircraft’s safety” to “catastrophic”, these levels require different levels of verification and validation.
Primarily, the standard requires developers of airborne equipment to capture requirements adequately, and track them through the design and verification process. Essentially, the following documents (to be submitted to the FAA) outline the process to be followed:
- Plan for Hardware Aspects of Certification (PHAC)
- Hardware Verification Plan (HVP)
- Top-Level Drawing
- Hardware Accomplishment Summary (HAS)
In a nutshell, DO-254 aims to ensure that developers are designing the right system, and designing the system right, thus ensuring the safety and dependability of avionics products.
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