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Standards in Avionics System
Development
(Overview on DO-178B)
Ákos Horváth
Dept. of Measurement and Information Systems
Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Department of Measurement and Information Systems
Abstract
 DO-178B (and DO-278) are used to assure safety
of avionics software. These documents provide
guidance in the areas of SW development,
configuration management, verification and the
interface to approval authorities (e.g., FAA, EASA)
2
Agenda





Introduction to DO-178B
System Aspects
Software Lifecycle Management
Certification Artifacts and Techniques
Future: DO-178C
3
Overview
 DO-178B - Software Considerations in Airborne
Systems and Equipment Certification
 Standard of RTCA Incorporation (in Europe it is ED12B and standard of EUROCAE)
 Represents the avionics industry consensus to ensure
software safety
 Acceptable by FAA and EASA certification authorities
 „The FAA and the civil aviation community recognize
RTCA’S DO-178B as an acceptable means of
compliance to the FAA regulations for SW aspects of
certification.”
4
History of avionics SW complexity
Ref: Subra de
Salafa and
Paquier
400
A-310 (1983)
350
A-320 (1988)
300
A-340 (1993)
250
200
150
100
50
0
MIPS
Exponential
Growth
LOC Mbyte/10
Digital links
Both A380 and B 787 have
100’s of millions LOC
5
History
 DO-178 in 1982
o Basic concepts of SW design assurance
o Three levels of SW safety
 DO-178A in 1985
o Concentrates on testing and configuration management
 DO-178B in 1992
o Five levels of SW safety
o From Testing focus  requirement-based
 DO-278 in 2002
o Interprets DO-178B to ground and space based-systems
 DO-178C in 2012
o Incorporates modern SW development and analysis
techniques
6
DO178B Document Structure
System Aspects Relating To
Software Development (Sec 2.)
SW Life Cycle Process
SW Life Cycle (Sec. 3.)
SW Planning (Sec. 4.)
SW Development (Sec. 5.)
Overview of Aircraft and Engine
Certification (Sec. 10.)
Integral Process
SW Verification (Sec. 6.)
SW Configuration Mgt (Sec. 7.)
SW Quality Assurance (Sec. 8.)
Ceritfication Liasison (Sec. 9.)
SW Life Cycle Data(Sec. 11.)
Additional Considration (Sec. 12.)
ANNEX A & B (FAA checklists)
Appendices
7
Software Levels in DO-178B
 Different failure conditions require different
software conditions  5 levels
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