5.13 Software management control

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5.13 Software management control

  1. 1. Module 5: Digital Techniques and Electronic Instrument Systems 5.13 Software Management Control
  2. 2. DO178B  DO178B is a document published by EUROCAE (European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment) dealing with the safety of software used in aircrafts.  Provides guidance to determine if the software will perform reliably in an airborne environment.  DO178B is titled “Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification”.
  3. 3. Software Certification  A software component to be approved for use in the aircraft needs a document called Declaration of Design and Performance.  This document is provided by the manufactures to the CAA for approval.  Certification procedure:  The manufacturers provide evidence to the CAA that the software component is designed and tested according to the CAA regulations.  The applicants use as a guidance DO178 document.  The same procedure takes place in software modifications (e.g. updates) made by the manufacturer.
  4. 4. Software Criticality Category  The aircraft constructor has assigned a Software Critically category to each software- based equipment.  The classification is described in the DO178 document.  Categories:  Level A: Catastrophic failure: Failure that prevents continued safe flight and landing.  Must be extremely improbable: 10-9  Level B: Hazardous / Severe Major Failure: Failure conditions that reduce the capability of the aircraft or the crew ability to cope with operating conditions.  Examples: A large reduction in safety margins, very high workload or physical distress of the crew due to a failure, serious or fatal injuries to a small number of the occupants.  Must be extremely remote: between 10-7 and 10-9  Level C: Major failure: Failure conditions that reduce the capability of the aircraft or the crew ability to cope with operating conditions.  Examples: A significant reduction in safety margins, significant increase in workload or physical distress of the crew due to a failure, discomfort to occupants, possible injuries.  Must be extremely improbable: 10-5 and 10-7  Level D: Minor failure: Failure conditions that do not reduce the capability of the aircraft and involve crew actions which are within their capabilities.  Examples: A slight reduction in safety margins, a slight increase in workload of the crew due to a failure. (e.g. routine flight plan changes).  Must be probable: more than10-5  Level E: No effect: Do not affect the capability of the aircraft or crew workload.
  5. 5. DO178B Contents  System and Equipment description.  Organization of software.  Criticality Categories and Software Levels.  Design Disciplines:  Development procedures that ensure quality.  Development Phases  Software Verification Plan.  Description of testing procedures that have been taken and results.  Configuration Management:  Configuration principles (e.g. ways to modify it).  Quality Assurance:  Procedures related with the quality assurance of the software and the relation between the software and other aircraft components.  Certification Plan:  A schedule detailing the relationship between the current and past certified software releases.  Organization and Identification of the Documents  Software Status:  Description of any known errors, functional limitations and future upgrades.

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