Avionics Development Traceability

DO-178 & DO-254 Traceability

DO-178C traceability for software and DO-254 traceability for hardware is mandatory, from the top down and also the bottom up.  Understand DO178C and DO254 traceability facts and how to deploy the best practices including automation.

PER DO-178 AND DO-254

Traceability is a key aspect of most modern professions. Accountants, researchers, and forensic scientists alike all apply traceability. For high quality and safety-critical engineering development efforts however, traceability is a cornerstone not just for achieving success, but to proving it as well.

Most software, and now hardware, engineering standards require varying degrees of traceability. Why? Traceability is a readily understood means of ensuring that implementation corresponds to specification. Traditionally, traceability has meant simply ensuring that each unique requirement has corresponding test cases which verify the requirement was implemented. In such a simplistic application of traceability, one need merely develop tests to cover each requirement then associate, or “trace” those tests to that requirement. When all requirements were thus “traced” to specific test cases, traceability, and likely the testing, were deemed complete as follows in Figure 1:

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