How do you qualify tools for DO-254 programs?
Nuances of tool assessment & qualification.
Qualifying tools for DO-254
While the use of state-of-the art development tools has led to ever increasing design complexity, the use of modern verification tools has at the same time made these complex designs more reliable. In addition, lifecycle management tools have facilitated management of both the development process and data. All these types of tools have been essential in modern avionics development.
What happens when you need to “qualify” these tools? What does that even mean? How much work is it? Is it worth it? These are common questions asked by tool users subject to RTCA/DO-254 compliance. Companies, like Siemens, who provide tools that are of great benefit to the goal of safety (such as in the aerospace domain), must understand and support their tools in the context of these programs. This paper describes the terminology and requirements related to tool qualification specific to the safety-critical programs governed by DO-254 compliance. It also provides some practical examples of tool qualification processes and strategies for commonly used tools.