LDRA, the leader in standards compliance, automated software verification, source code analysis, and test tools, announces the delivery of a comprehensive DO-178C ecosystem of compliance management tools. This announcement comes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially recognizes DO-178C and its supplements as a means of compliance for avionics software development. Thanks to ongoing executive-level involvement in the formation of industry standards, LDRA has extended its DO-178B/ED-12B expertise to include the new guidance of both U.S. and European standards within the LDRA tool suite and DO-330-compliant tool qualification packs.
Competencies in the LDRA Tool Suite and LCMS Ensure DO-178C Compliance
The new DO-178C/ED-12C standard clarifies guidance to remove ambiguities in DO-178B and enforce the safest software development practices. DO-178C/ED-12C now advises that companies provide:
– Data and control coupling analysis where predicted system behavior is metrically compared to actual system behavior up to Level A where object code is examined.
– Object code verification to ensure that no additional code has introduced errant or unexpected behavior in the machine code and that all code has been tested.
– Trace data analysis to show that requirements are linked to all software artifacts to prove fulfillment of each requirement at the design, code, and test stages of development.
– Conformance to software coding standards to show consistency and quality of source code.
– Verification of model-generated code and systems to provide independent analysis of the generated code at the model and target system.
– Automated verification of Object-Oriented Technology (OOT) subclasses to ensure local type consistency is met.
– Compliance management for a fully compliant infrastructure and documented system development.
LDRA is uniquely qualified to meet these objectives, having adopted many of these competencies already. The LDRA tool suite is qualifiable for Level A compliance and the LDRA Compliance Management System (LCMS) is widely used by avionics OEMs, avionics suppliers, military equipment suppliers, and the FAA. LCMS provides a fully compliant infrastructure based on best practices from industry (clients and RTCA committees) and authorities (FAA, EASA, military in many countries). Guiding LDRA’s certification process are Designated Engineering Representatives, fully approved by the FAA and EASA.
LDRA has been instrumental in the compliance and certification of more than 150 avionics systems worldwide, many of them to the highest FAA and EASA qualification standards,” confirmed Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations Director. “In working toward software with zero defects, our tools have long offered independent model verification, checked object code for any additional code, linked requirements to code and tests, and delivered full compliance management through LCMS—all features now required by the new avionics standards. We are proud to immediately deliver the broadest range of critical DO-178C/ED-12C capabilities in the market.
LDRA Provides FAA Fully Credentialed Certification Experts
In addition, LDRA Certification Services (LCS) is made up of a team of FAA Level A Designated Engineering Representatives led by Todd R. White, a FAA DER with Level A authority on all aircraft systems and equipment, including engines, for both software and complex electronic hardware. The LCS safety engineering experts walk customers through the fully compliant plans, standards and other lifecycle documents, process checklists, and problem reports to help them manage certification planning, development, verification, and regulatory activities.
Underpinning LCS efforts is LCMS, available in cloud and locally hosted versions. LCMS, used to achieve compliance on hundreds of DO-178B and DO-254 programs, delivers an end-to-end compliance management solution that helps companies mitigate the cost and schedule risks of avionics certification projects that frequently extend over a number of years.
LCS guarantees compliance at a fixed cost. In addition, customers who integrate LCMS with the LDRA tool suite can streamline their verification process and simplify audits, reducing thousands of hours of documentation effort and audit costs by at least 50 percent.
Evolving the Industry Gold Standard for Safety
The former standard, DO-178B “Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification,” has guided production of software for airborne systems for the past thirty years. The new standard clarifies misunderstood language and addresses key technology issues such as model-based development, object-oriented technology, and formal methods. In a separate, closely aligned standard, DO-330, tool qualification is also now addressed in detail.
In Advisory Circular AC 20-115C, Airborne Software Assurance released on August 12, 2013, the FAA signaled its readiness to sanction the updated guidance of RTCA/DO-178C and supplements.
With this Advisory Circular, FAA now formally recognizes DO-178C as means of compliance for all new systems containing software and for legacy applications undergoing changes or the introduction of new development tools. EASA’s adoption of the ED-12C standard took place earlier this year.