Since DO-254 was released ten years ago, the knowledge of software hardware development processes, techniques, and strategies for safety-critical hardware has vastly changed and in some cases improved. However, there is a large gap between understanding the real intent of DO-254 certification and the minimalist words in the Book. Worldwide certification agencies such as EASA and the FAA are staffed with smart, hard-working individuals but typically they have less exposure to recent hands-on hardware development using these new technologies and advanced application of DO-254.
Avionics hardware world-wide is now commonly required to follow “DO-254” for literally all phases of development: Safety, Requirements, Design, Logic Implementation, V&V, Quality Assurance, etc. DO-254 was partly copied from software’s DO-178B, but there are many differences between hardware and software which must be understood to “truly” implement DO-254. While DO-254 may seem onerous to follow, most planes, helicopters, and many UAV’s flying today must comply with it: First-time users often complain of costs and schedules doubling while trying to comply. But is DO-254 really complex? What are the true meanings of DO-254 ? How can DO-254 be understood and applied cost-effectively the first time ? What are the top mistakes when starting DO-254 projects and how to avoid them? What are the best practices for avionics hardware requirements, design, logic implementation, configuration management, V&V, QA, and certification ?