While DO-178 was originally released in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the release of DO-178B in 1992 that it truly became the gold standard for avionic software requirements. In the last thirty years, our team has worked on aircraft from single engine planes to commercial jets, and even drones and autonomous vehicles, in support of DO-178B certification, as well as the more recent DO-178C standard, and their European counterparts (ED-12B/C).
One of the most fundamental aspects of DO-178 is the Design Assurance Level (DAL). Design Assurance Levels range from DAL-A to DAL-E. DAL-A is applied when failure or malfunction of the software can result in catastrophic failure of the aircraft. DAL-E doesn’t fall under the scope of DO-178, as this classification designates that the software has no impact on aircraft safety.
A good way to think about preparing for a DO-178 certification is Stage of Involvement (SOI) reviews. These reviews are presented in stages to the certifying body, and represent key milestones in the certification process.
- SOI #1 – Planning Review
- SOI #2 – Development Review
- SOI #3 – Verification Review
- SOI #4 – Certification (Final) Review
It’s crucial to note that all four stages of the process must be considered from the beginning. For example, waiting until SOI #1 & #2 have been accepted before considering your verification & validation process is a crucial error.
We follow a 1:10:100 rule, where something that costs $1 to fix in planning costs $10 to fix in development and $100 to fix during verification. A key part of preparing for your validation early is by considering the tools that you will be using to do so, and ensuring those tools are qualified in compliance with DO-330 guidelines.
Whether you just need IV&V, development, or an all-encompassing certification effort, we’re able to function as an extension of your engineering department, taking on as much or as little of your project as required to get it up in the air.
Call us today to get safely airborne tomorrow