An increase in demand for DO-254 certification explained
The importance of certifying safety critical systems in airborne platforms is an ongoing topic. During this year’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT), Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions’ Mike Slonosky took the floor to explain why this demand for D0-254 safety-critical solutions has increased. Within the presentation, he noted the digitization of cockpits; commercial technology advancements over civil population centers; and the use of synthetic vision systems for landing has increased design assurance level (DAL) of mission computers – all play a role.
The most obvious reason for electronic hardware in airborne systems to be compliant with DO-254 certification process is that there are more drones flying over civil population areas. The military also needs to address DO-254 as hardware complexity increases. With the myriad of reasons on why there is an uptick in demand, it begs to ask the question: what are the benefits to certifying COTS hardware to DO-254?
In November’s Executive Outlook of The McHale Report, Paul Hart, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, says “The biggest ones are reduced cost, improved reliability, quality, and maintainability, which all equates to reduced risk for the end user. Our customers in military and commercial avionics platforms also have accelerated time-to-market demands. Prime contractors and avionics suppliers need to provide support for selected RTOS vendors and graphics drivers, provide required artifacts available for the modules, and provide functionally equivalent modules available for air-cooled lab use along with rear transition modules for easy interface to I/O. All of this means they need to embrace COTS hardware and enable its certification to the highest safety levels as it’s the only way to effectively take advantage of this commercial technology.”
In this Executive Outlook, Hart also discusses the objections from the civil aviation authorities to this concept and how it might apply to unmanned aircraft.
To read the complete Executive Outlook: Certifying COTS avionics hardware to DAL A is common sense
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