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July 2017 – Top Tips for Your Next DO-254 Project – Part II

This month we’re furthering our discussion on top tips for your next DO-254 project. If you haven’t read part one, please go back and read part one.

The DO-254 standard is “a means of compliance for the design of complex hardware in airborne systems.” It provides guidance from project conception, planning, design, implementation, testing, and validation. As discussed last month, proper upfront education and planning can significantly ease the process of achieving DO-254 certification and approval.

This month, we continue with our top tips to aid you in completing your next project.

  1. Conduct Mock Stage of Involvement Audits
    Stage of Involvement (SOI) audits should never be entered without some deal of preparation, because even a single team member who misspeaks can bring the entire team’s pedigree into question.

    Having a mock meeting beforehand will take up more time in the short-term, but can prevent many actions and findings during the real SOI audit that would otherwise require even more time from your engineers.


  2. Understand the Tool Assessment and Qualification Process
    If you are planning on using a tool, whether it’s an in-house tool or a COTS tool that is industry standard, plan on doing a tool assessment and perhaps even a tool qualification. These can take up a lot of time and budget, and we find that many project plans omit this activity altogether.


  3. Prepare a Hierarchical Verification Plan

    During the design of electronic hardware, many artifacts are created at each level of abstraction (e.g. requirements, design documents, schematics, HDL, RTL, post-layout or post-synthesis extracted netlists). Verification should be performed at every level, which creates a verification “hierarchy”.

    When verifying artifacts at every level of abstraction, consider verification methods of: review, analysis, simulation, functional and behavioral modeling, and test.


  4. Don’t Underestimate the Work Required for COTS Components and Circuit Card Assemblies

    Especially with the issuance of additional guidance such as EASA CM-SWCEH-001, COTS components are coming under scrutiny. If you have any contractual obligations that require design assurance on COTS components, understand exactly what is needed. The additional work required can range from simply gathering and storing data sheets for simple COTS devices to performing and documenting analysis and black-box testing on complex COTS devices.


  5. If Possible, Always Verify with Independence

    Verification with independence is only required for certain Design Assurance Levels. Nevertheless, we always recommend having an independent verification team.

    The Omnicon Group develops efficient test plans and procedures to streamline testing while assuring that tests correctly and completely verify requirements in the least amount of time. We can select the most appropriate silicon-based logic type, and development environment and toolsets, prepare checklists for entry and exit criteria for design phases and review, and much more. Find out how our engineers can assist with your next DO-254 project. Contact us at info@omnicongroup.com today!

Tags: DO-254, hardware, hardware development, qualifications, requirements, Top Tips, verification



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Omnicon provides custom engineering solutions for customers in aerospace, defense, transportation, medical and more.