Software certification in the avionics according to DO-178B/C
In the avionics, functional safety has naturally a long tradition. It's here where we find the most stringent requirements for software safety, the most pioneering methods of their implementation and the most advanced approach to control costs. Aerospace manufacturers use more and more COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) hardware and software components for avionics control systems. With PikeOS, SYSGO offers a micro-kernel based embedded virtualization platform allowing cost-efficient certification of functional safety according to DO-178B/C, the software safety standard of the avionics.
DO-178B/C Certification Standard
DO-178B/C is a mandatory certification standard for software used in airborne systems. DO-178B/C concentrates on objectives for software life cycle processes to assure the development of safe and reliable software for airborne environments. DO-178B/C determines five safety levels by examining the effects of a failure condition in the system: Level A (catastrophic), Level B (hazardous), Level C (major), Level D (minor), and Level E (no effects). According to these levels the software has to satisfy up to 66 objectives. Originally, DO-178B/C is the title of a document released by RTCA, Inc. describing "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification". DO-178B/C has been accepted by the US Federale Aviation Administration (FAA) as certification standard and guideline to determine software safety. The European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) adopted DO-178B/C as ED-12B.
Micro-kernel based PikeOS Embedded Virtualization
Safety certification of applications of different levels of criticality: Cost-efficient safety certification of applications with different criticality levels in an ARINC-653 resource partitioned embedded system.PikeOS has been designed for use in safety-critical applications and has gone through a comprehensive validation according to safety standards like DO-178B/C, EN 50128, IEC 62304, IEC 61508, ISO 26262, IEC 61513 of either the avionics, automotive, railway, medical, industrial automation or nuclear power plants. Since only the micro-kernel runs in privileged mode, all of its code contributes to the trusted code base of every application that might run on top of it.
The effort of certifying a program is roughly proportional to the amount of code to be examined. This comprises the code of the program itself, but also that of the run-time environment (i.e. operating system, libraries etc.) which the program relies on. Therefore, the PikeOS micro-kernel consists of less than 10.000 LOC making certification less expensive than that of conventional monolithic real-time operating systems. Even better: PikeOS allows the combination of application of different levels of criticality on a single hardware platform where every application can be certified independently from others.
SYSGO Research Projects on Safety in the Avionics
SYSGO is partner of important research projects on Safety in the avionics:
- SCARLETT: Towards the next generation of Integrated Modular Avionic
- ACROSS: ARTEMIS CROSS-Domain Architecture
- PROARTIS: Probabilistically Analysable Real-Time Systems