RTI’s New DO-178C Certification Package Will Reduce Cost of Certifying Unmanned Avionics Systems

By Caroline Rees / 29 Sep 2015

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the Industrial Internet of Things connectivity platform company, has announced the availability of a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) DO-178C Level A Certification Package for Connext DDS Cert. This is the first connectivity platform built on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard to complete a DO-178C Design Assurance Level (DAL) A certification evidence package and be placed into a production platform.

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This COTS certification package provides the evidence an aviation authority, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), requires when certifying the airworthiness of an avionics system built using Connext DDS Cert. By leveraging the DO-178C DALA Certification Package, companies will reduce the time, cost, and risk required to develop, integrate and certify a safety-critical distributed application.

Avionics systems have traditionally used custom software to communicate between different applications and subsystems, like radars, displays, communication, and mission systems. Developing the software and the necessary certification evidence can take months to years of effort and cost on the order of $100 per line of code. Connext DDS Cert eliminates this time and reduces this cost by providing a COTS certification package. In addition, because it supports the DDS standard, applications are easier to develop, integrate, evolve and maintain than those using custom and proprietary solutions.

This DO-178C DAL A COTS certification evidence package benefits both military and commercial drones, also known as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). In the United States, UAVs have only been allowed to fly within line-of-sight of an observer, either on the ground or in a chase plane, and there are many other restrictions that have prohibited them from operating in the civilian National Airspace System (NAS). These restrictions limit their utility and make them expensive to operate. In order to unleash the potential of UAVs and sUAS platforms by enabling their integration into National Airspace Systems (NAS), they will need to comply with civilian standards such as DO-178C. Connext DDS Cert makes it easier and more cost-effective to perform this integration particularly since most existing drone software was not designed to satisfy DO-178C requirements.

“We are thrilled to announce the general availability of this safety Certification Data Package for Connext DDS Cert,” said David Barnett, VP of Products and Markets at RTI. “In addition to benefiting avionics, this COTS certification evidence package provides a foundation for certification using other Industrial IoT standards such as those for manufacturing and energy systems, medical devices and automotive communications and control components. We look forward to continuing to expand our technology offerings to help our customers and partners leverage the power of the Industrial Internet.”

“Wind River and RTI have been long-term partners in developing market-leading technology for commercial and military solutions,” said Chip Downing, Senior Director of Business Development for Aerospace & Defense at Wind River. “As avionics systems, autonomous platforms, and UAVs continue to advance into more critical environments, security, safety, reliability, and performance are crucial capabilities that need to be proven. RTI’s Connext DDS Cert software with COTS DO-178C certification evidence will provide the production-proven connectivity platform needed to realize the tremendous commercial opportunity of harvesting data in next generation IoT platforms.”

“The Certification Data Package produced by Verocel, Inc. includes software life-cycle data that applies to DO-178C, as well as IEC 61508, the industrial automation standard,” said George Romanski, CEO of Verocel. “It is equally applicable to the Medical and Rail Safety standards.”

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact