Archive for January 12th, 2016

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How Does Embedded Software Allow the Aviation Industry to be Safer?

Embedded software controls machinery and devices other than computers, and is becoming increasingly popular across many industries for the time and cost efficiency that it affords. Beyond this, however, embedded software can provide increased security and quality in modern technology. So how does this apply to the aviation industry?

Esterel’s DO-178C is a testament to the extra security that embedded technology can bring to aviation technology. The DO-178C is an example of ANSYS’ SCADE suite, which is employed for the design of critical systems solutions for embedded software in aircrafts – from automatic pilots to engine control and landing gear systems. SCADE’s certification suites are highly reputed within the aviation industry for their model-based design, which guarantees the provision of all the material necessary for a piece of software to meet all requirements, with constant testing throughout the creative process and realisation of a project.

The software maintains a symbiotic relationship between system models and software models with automatic synchronisation in both directions, thus allowing for the elimination of errors and glitches, and ensuring that the technology is both safe and regulation-compliant from start to finish.

SCADE technology also features LifeCycle, a component which means it is almost self-monitoring, providing traceability, configuration, and automatic document generation and monitoring on the dashboard, thus increasing safety by providing constant updates on its performance and status.

The DO-178C in particular is an update of the long-established DO-178B, which has been guaranteeing the safety of aircraft certification since 1992. The DO-178C incorporates newer technologies and methods, most notably model-based development and verification, which is hugely beneficial to safety. Featuring both model simulation and testing for safety, DO-178C trials software throughout the creation process, constantly testing its security. Adopted by the FAA and EASA in 2012, the DO-178C Certification Plans for SCADE Suite Applications provides users with templates for applications which they can then tailor to their specific needs. The software also helps users to define a plan to meet their particular objectives within the frame of safety regulations, therefore guaranteeing safety and eliminating a large part of the time-consuming planning process. A project created using SCADE’s DO-178C is managed from start to finish (development, verification, configuration management, and quality assurance), meaning that problems are eliminated almost immediately and nothing outside of safety guidelines can be conceptualised or implemented, even in the planning stage.

Posted in: Editorial