White Papers

Understanding Your Safety-Certifiable COTS Options: A Closer Look at the Subsystem Level

May 01, 2018 | BY: Rick Hearn

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In a recent white paper, “Accelerate Time-To-Market With Safety-Certifiable Airborne Electronics Hardware”, we examined the processes vendors follow to produce safety certifiable airborne electronics hardware (AEH) designed and tested to DO-254, DO- 160 and VITA 47 standards. Understanding these processes is critical in appreciating the reduction in risk, cost and time to market that safety-certifiable COTS modules provide, especially to companies that have little or no experience with the arduous certification process.

The next phase in bringing the cost, time and risk-lowering benefits of safety-certifiable COTS to avionics system designers is to define the advantages of these products on the subsystem level. Both traditional and safety-certifiable COTS modules deliver reduced costs because, once designed, a module can be reused in many different applications. Today, COTS vendors can deliver a toolbox full of safety-certifiable cards – such as single board computers (SBCs), switching and networking modules, graphics controllers and video frame grabbers – representing a wide range of functionalities that can be integrated into a rugged chassis.

Do-254, DO254, DO178

Figure 1: Examining the COTS components in a safety-certifiable system

This white paper will examine today’s safety-certifiable COTS offerings, from the design process to real-world examples of systems and applications, to provide a better understanding of what to look for when assessing and comparing safety-certifiable modules and their manufacturers.

Download the 'Understanding Your Safety-Certifiable COTS Options: A Closer Look at the Subsystem Level' white paper to learn more about:

  • Component selection for DO- 254 certifiable hardware
  • What to look for at the module level
  • Applications of COTS-based safety-certifiable systems

Author’s Biography

Rick Hearn

Product Manager, Safety Certifiable Solutions.

Rick Hearn is the Product Manager for Safety Certifiable Solutions for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. Rick has over 25 years of experience in design and design management positions in the Telecommunications and Defense industries including 11 years of experience in design management and program management at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

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