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What is DO-178B? DO-178B: "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification"

DO-178B Reusable Software Components (RSC) now available in LynxOS-178 RTOS

What is DO-178B? DO-178B defines the guidelines for development of aviation software in the USA.

DO-178B has become a de facto standard. Produced by Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, Inc. (RTCA), the FAA's Advisory Circular AC20-115B established DO-178B as the accepted means of certifying all new aviation software.

DO-178B is primarily concerned with development processes. As a result, certification to DO-178B requires delivery of multiple supporting documents and records. The quantity of items needed for DO-178B certification, and the amount of information that they must contain, is determined by the level of certification being sought.

The targeted DO-178B certification level is either A, B, C, D, or E. Correspondingly, these DO-178B levels describe the consequences of a potential failure of the software: catastrophic, hazardous-severe, major, minor, or no-effect.

DO-178B Certification Requirements

All items are not required at all certification levels.

DO-178B Documents: DO-178B Records:
  • Plan for Software Aspects of Certification (PSAC)
  • Software Development Plan (SDP)
  • Software Verification Plan (SVP)
  • Software Configuration Management Plan (SCMP)
  • Software Quality Assurance Plan (SQAP)
  • Software Requirements Standards (SRS)
  • Software Design Standards (SDS)
  • Software Code Standards (SCS)
  • Software Requirements Data (SRD)
  • Software Design Description (SDD)
  • Software Verification Cases and Procedures (SVCP)
  • Software Life Cycle Environment Configuration Index (SECI)
  • Software Configuration Index (SCI)
  • Software Accomplishment Summary (SAS)
  • Software Verification Results (SVR)
  • Problem Reports
  • Software Configuration Management Records
  • Software Quality Assurance Records

The DO-178B certification process is most demanding at higher levels. A product certified to DO-178B level A would have the largest potential market, but it would require thorough, labor-intensive preparation of most of the items on the DO-178B support list.

Conversely, a product certifying to DO-178B level E would require fewer support items and be less taxing on company resources. Unfortunately, the product would have a smaller range of applicability than if certified at a higher level.

The LynuxWorks Software Certification Support Program

Take advantage of LynuxWorks™' experience in helping customers build DO-178B certification materials for their avionics systems.

  1. Our LynxOS-178 RTOS for software certification is certifiable up to DO-178B level A.
  2. Learn about DO-178B Reusable Software Components (RSC). LynxOS-178 is the first and only COTS operating system to receive acceptance for reusability from the FAA in DO-178B certification.
  3. Targeting DO-178B, LynuxWorks' Software Certification Support Program brings together software, documentation, and professional services to streamline the certification process.
  4. Real-time systems programmers get a big boost with LynuxWorks' DO-178B RTOS training courses.

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