Development Tools

Development Tools

Aviation Development is increasingly complex; various development tools are widely used by aviation systems developers. These tools automate, manage, and provide consistent evidence of compliant engineering practices required by certification entities worldwide per DO-178C, ED-12C, DO-254, DO-326A, ED-202A, ARP4754A, ARP4761A, and other aviation guidelines. CERTegic is independent of any aviation/avionics product or tool company so independently provides the following list of the most commonly used development tools and products in each category of aviation development:

Avionics Hardware & Software Platforms:

Avionics require certifiable hardware and software components which comply with DO-178C (software) and DO-254 (hardware). The following is a very popular provider of avionics hardware and software platforms:

  • CoreAVI provides a wide variety of aviation development products including Graphics products, divers, COTS Hardware/IP, GPU Hypervisor and Safety Monitors, along with requisite DO-178C and DO-254 certification evidence: https://www.coreavi.com/product-categories

Aviation Safety Assessment Tools:

Used in preparation of ARP4761A and ARP4754A compliant safety assessments including Functional Hazard Assessment (FHA), Preliminary System Safety Assessment (PSSA), System Safety Assessment (SSA), Failure Mode Effects Analysis (/FMEA), Common Cause Analysis (CCA), and Zonal Safety Assessment (ZSA), all per ARP4761A via ARP4754A:

Aviation Safety Assessment Tutorials (Free):

Free technical whitepapers and videos explaining aviation safety assessment per ARP4761 (companion to ARP4754A):

Requirements Management Tools:

Used to implement, trace, and manage safety-critical requirements for systems, software, and hardware per ARP4754A, DO-178C, and DO-254, respectively:

Problem Reporting and Change Management:

Used to assist with tracking changes, defects, and problem reporting according to the Configuration Management Planning activities of ARP4754A, DO-178C, DO-254, DO-200B, DO-278A, DO-297, and DO-331:

Systems/Software Model Based-Development Tools:

Used to automate the systems and software development process including design and auto-code generation per DO-178C / ED-12C and DO-331:

Aviation Cyber-Security Tools:

Cyber-security is increasingly important with new regulations covering both the development and operational environments. The following companies are popular providers of cyber-security tools including those used in aviation:

  • Aviation Cyber-Security Tools by ArgusThese Argus tools include Threat Analysis and Risk Assessment (TARA), Penetration Testing (Pen-Testing), Security Requirements Specification (SRS), and Vulnerability Analysis, Aircraft Network Security Program. Details here: https://argus-sec.com/aviation-cyber-security-solutions/
  • Various Cyber-Security Tools by Attivo Networks – Threat Defend Platform: deception technology for early post-compromise threat detection and accelerated incident response. Details here: https://attivonetworks.com/
  • Various Cyber-Security Tools by Resilience Cyber-Security – covering multiple domains in addition to aircraft cyber-security. Details here: https://www.resilience-sec.com/

Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS’s) :

When RTOS’s are used on safety-related avionics (airborne) products, they must be certified to DO-178C. Avionics systems growth in complexity and capability mean real-time operating systems (RTOS’s) are increasingly necessary.  Airborne RTOS’s almost always require certification to DO-178C and should address partitioning, POSIX, inter-partition communication, mixed-criticality, ARINC 653, and multi-core capability with multi-threading.  An example of such an RTOS is LynxOS: https://www.lynx.com/products/lynxos-178-do-178c-certified-posix-rtos

FPGA Design – Field Programmable Gate Arrays:

FPGA’s are increasingly popular in safety-critical devices due to increased runtime speed and ease of development. FPGA development usually comes under DO-254 (ED-80 in Europe) and must also comply with AMC 20-152A per FAA and EASA. The following is a popular FPGA design tool for safety-critical systems:

Compiler Validation Tools:

The software compiler is likely the most important tool in aviation software development per DO-178C and DO-278A. Compiler accuracy must be verified, and compilers must be proven to be reliable and accurate, with compiler validation increasingly used to ensure compliance in DO-178C and DO-278A. The following is a popular compiler validation tool:

Certifying systems and software, and applying legacy software in aviation via FAA:

Needed to understand aviation certification considerations including application of legacy software in order to comply with ARP4754A (Systems), DO-178C (Software) and DO-254 (Hardware):

Training in Systems/Software/Hardware Development & Certification:

Engineers typically learn improved aviation development skills by attending ARP4754A Training (Systems), DO-178C Training (Software) and DO-254 Training (Hardware). The following entities are popular providers of such public and private training:

Aviation Development Tool Qualification:

Aviation development tools may require tool qualification to DO-330 if they automate, augment, or replace human-engineering steps without their output being verified. Aviation tool qualification is governed by DO-330. DO-330 augments the tool qualification aspects of DO-178C, DO-200B, ARP4754A, and DO-254 tool qualification. The following resources provide free descriptions of aviation tool qualification including DO-330:

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