Military Embedded Systems

A Low-risk, COTS Approach to Building Safety Certifiable Processing Subsystems


September 13, 2017

How to affordably decrease safety critical processing subsystem development time and program risk using DO-178 / DO-254 certifiable off-the-shelf building blocks.

As processing systems are being designed to assist and in the case of autonomous, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) replace humans, and as military platforms increasingly require flight safety assurance for government permission to operate within commercial aerospace, safety certification is becoming ever more critical and widespread. Developing processing subsystems that have the required safety certification for these rolls is complex, time consuming and has the potential to be expensive. The traditional approach to developing these subsystems has been to design them from scratch, which has resulted in project delays and an overall high execution risk. There is a need for an efficient, reliable and cost-effective path to develop safety critical processing subsystems which is inherently low risk.

For non-safety equipment, system engineers leverage COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) items to accelerate the development and lower the risk of projects. Now these COTS building blocks are available for safety applications with the introduction of Mercury Mission System’s Avionics Series that are designed from the ground up with safety built-in. Avionics Series processing building blocks are designed to DO-254 (hardware) and DO-178 (software) processes and are provided with artifacts to support system certification, saving time, cost and minimizing risk while developing safety critical processing systems.


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