Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 11, Number 23, December 2021

Airborne Software Development Processes Certification Review Strategy based on RTCA/DO-178C


Jinghua Sun1, Samuel Edwards2, Nic Connelly3, Andrew Bridge4 and Lei Zhang1, 1COMAC Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute, China, 2Defence Aviation Safety Authority, Australia, 3RMIT University, Australia, 4European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Germany


functionality for aircraft. Highly complex software, however, cannot be exhaustively tested and only assured through a structured, process, activity, and objective-based approach. This paper studied the development processes and objectives applicable to different software levels based on RTCA/DO-178C, and identified 82 technical focus points based on each airborne software development sub-process, then created a Process Technology Coverage matrix to demonstrate the technical focuses of each process. This paper proposes an objective-oriented top-down and bottom-up sampling strategy for the four software Stage of Involvement reviews by considering the frequency and depth of involvement. Finally, this paper provides a Technology Objective Coverage matrix, which can support the reviewers to perform the efficient risk-based SOI reviews by considering the identified technical points, thus efficiently achieving confidence in the level of safety of the aircraft from the software assurance perspective.


Airborne Software, Stage of Involvement, DO-178C, Safety Critical Software Oversight.