System Safety Certification Using Safety-Certifiable COTS


System Safety Certification Using Safety-Certifiable COTS

How To Mend The Gap Between Assembly Level Artifacts and the System Safety Assessment

Suppliers of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic modules have started to offer “safety-certifiable COTS” intended for use on certified avionics platforms in military and commercial applications. What exactly does this mean, and what can it do for avionics system integrators?

What is Safety-Certifiable COTS?

Safety-certifiable COTS is a COTS module or system intended to be used by multiple customers or programs, and has been designed according to a DO-254 process with all of the design assurance and artifacts that go with that process. Ultimately, this means safety-certifiable COTS with lower cost of certification, lower risks and decreased time to market.

This raises an important question: how can this be done, knowing that the system design process is a top down model according to ARP 4754A? While the hazard analysis and system safety analysis for a single system may be available, how do you deal with multiple systems? The certifiable COTS supplier does not have the luxury of the flow down of requirements from these analyses. The fact of the matter is that the certifiable COTS supplier must do the best they can to anticipate the safety flow down of requirements and the features and safety monitors necessary to meet the needs of a system.

Development Cycle Graphic