Building software for aircraft in compliance with DO-178B, DO-178C, and ARP4754 guidelines presents several challenges. After developing a formal Plan for Software Aspects of Certification (PSAC) and having it approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the software development organization must rigorously follow that plan and then demonstrate that it has done so before receiving certification. These challenges are often compounded by changing, or poorly communicated, system and software specifications.
Engineers at Airbus Helicopters use Model-Based Design to accelerate development and to stabilize system and software specifications. Based on textual requirements, they model the software architecture, system design, and software design in Simulink®, and then use Embedded Coder® to generate code for flight software, including an air conditioning control system (with bi-zone temperature, demisting, and defrosting) aboard Airbus Helicopters EC130 helicopters.
“Simulink enables us to stabilize our requirements and specification as early as possible because we develop the specification and the design concurrently,” says Ronald Blanrue, avionic certification specialist at Airbus Helicopters. “We validate the requirements and specification with the Simulink model, and then reuse the model to generate code with Embedded Coder.”