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Aerospace & Defence | DO-178B/C | DO-278 | DO-254 | Def Stan 00-56

If you’re developing security or safety-critical software for aerospace or defence applications, you need complete confidence in your software development and test processes to help you meet FAA, EASA, or other regulatory requirements. In these sectors, requirements for both safety and security continue to rise. The DO-178B standard has evolved into DO-178C, improving safety requirements and accommodating new technologies for development and verification. And increasingly, standards developed for the aerospace sector have been recognised as a best practice and have been adopted in other security and safety-critical markets such as defence, even though there is no certification requirement.

Beyond the needs to meet stringent requirements, aerospace and defence projects become even more challenging due to lengthy development schedules—during which targets and specifications can evolve over several years—as well as large, geographically dispersed teams. At the same time, the stakes keep rising: budgets are tighter, deadlines are shorter, and the risks of non-compliance have never been higher.

Coding standards such as MISRA C and MISRA C++, JSF++ AV , CWE , CERT C, CERT C++, and CERT Java have been developed specifically to improve code quality, safety, and security and are increasingly leveraged by software organisations in aerospace and defence industries. However, manually enforcing these standards comes at the price of time, effort, money, and—ironically—quality, as the manual process is complex and error-prone. To reduce costs and improve productivity, development organisations need to automate support for compliance to coding standards as well as frameworks such as the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE).

LDRA has an unmatched pedigree in aerospace, avionics, and defence application development and verification

As an engineer developing these critical systems, you can’t afford to take chances with manual and error-prone processes that can impact the safety, security, reliability, or maintainability of your code. The LDRA tool suite has been used in over 100 successful aerospace DO-178B Level A certifications. No other software vendor comes close to this level of experience and expertise. LDRA’s powerful tool suite is the most complete software verification and validation solution for avionics software, yet is still cost-effective, nimble, and flexible enough to accommodate applications and teams that aren’t required to reach the same levels of assurance.

With 40 years of experience, LDRA works closely with both industry and on-staff Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs), expediting the path to software qualification and aircraft certification. Additionally, LDRA can provide its own comprehensive Compliance Management System consisting of documentation templates, process checklists, and a document review and approval infrastructure. This tightly integrated environment helps you manage the entire DO-178B/C process from requirements through deployment, helping to eliminate or reduce labour-intensive and error-prone elements of the process while reducing cost and streamlining the overall development lifecycle.

LDRA provides significant advantages for developers of security- and safety-critical systems:

Requirements Traceability

TBmanager is the only requirements traceability solution that supports the tracing of requirements, development, and verification artifacts and activities throughout the entire software development life cycle. This bi-directional traceability ensures complete coverage and impact analysis through all phases of development, from a requirement through development to verification, as well as the production of evidence and documentation in a comprehensive requirements traceability matrix.

Coding Standards Compliance

TBvision’s static analysis capabilities simplify the enforcement of coding standards across your organisation, improving the overall consistency and quality of the code. TBvision helps your team develop and enforce the coding standard that is right for you, from in-house best practices and guidelines, to industry coding standards, or a combination of in-house and industry standards. Examples of supported standards include MISRA C, MISRA C++, CERT C, CERT C++, CERT Java, Netrino C, and JSF++ AV.

Structural Coverage Analysis

The LDRA tool suite lets your team meet the most rigorous coverage analysis requirements, including Modified Condition/Decision Coverage (MC/DC). Measuring and ensuring the effectiveness of your testing process is imperative when developing safety- and security-critical software, and the LDRA tool suite addresses many types of structural coverage analysis, including statement, branch/decision, procedure/function call, MC/DC, and dynamic data flow.

Object Code Verification

The LDRA TBobjectBox module is the only direct way to relate code coverage at the source code level with that achieved at the object code level to realise complete object code verification (OCV), as required under DO-178B/C Level A safety assurance.

Data Coupling and Control Coupling

LDRA Testbed is unique in its ability to automate testing and analysis of the data and control flow between components. This is especially important to meet DO-178B/C requirements, and can be significant in understanding dependencies between processes in applications that require partitioned operating systems.

Compliance Management System

The LDRA Compliance Management System (LCMS) is the first fully compliant FAA certification solution for DO-178B/C, DO-278A, and DO-254. Our LDRA Certification Services (LCS) experts are fully accredited across all aviation disciplines. They can walk you through the compliant plans, standards, and other life cycle documents, process checklists, and problem reports to help you manage certification planning, development, verification, and regulatory activities.

Tool Qualification

LDRA provides support for the qualification of its tool suite for structural coverage analysis (SCA), programming rules checking (PRC), and for data coupling and control coupling (DCCC). The LDRA Tool Qualification Support Packs (TQSPs) contain the test cases that demonstrate the SCA, PRC and DCCC, capabilities of the tool suite. In addition, associated documentation for the development and verification of the product is provided, including plans, procedures, and expected results. For the aerospace market in particular, primary documents include the Tool Qualification Plan (TQP), and the Tool Accomplishment Summary (TAS).


TBmanager’s extensible and customisable objective mapping capabilities allow project planning documents, assets, and artifacts to be gathered and associated with objectives.

The LDRA tool suite can be used for Object Code Verification which is required for DO-178C level A certification

  • The LDRA tool suite can be used for Object Code Verification which is required for DO-178C level A certification

What people say

ENSCO has benefited from a 50% improvement in performance using the LDRA tool suite, as opposed to traditional methods.