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3 min read

RTI Releases First DO-178C Certification Data Package for Its Safety-Critical Connectivity Platform

DO-178C Level A Certification Evidence for Connext® DDS Cert Decreases Cost of Certifying Manned and Unmanned Avionics Systems

SUNNYVALE, Calif.—September 29, 2015—Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the Industrial Internet of Things connectivity platform company, today announced the availability of a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) DO-178C Level A Certification Package for Connext DDS Cert. This is the first connectivity platform built on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard to complete a DO-178C Design Assurance Level (DAL) A certification evidence package and be placed into a production platform. This COTS certification package provides the evidence an aviation authority, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), requires when certifying the airworthiness of an avionics system built using Connext DDS Cert. By leveraging the DO-178C DALA Certification Package, companies will reduce the time, cost, and risk required to develop, integrate and certify a safety-critical distributed application.

Avionics systems have traditionally used custom software to communicate between different applications and subsystems, like radars, displays, communication, and mission systems. Developing the software and the necessary certification evidence can take months to years of effort and cost on the order of $100 per line of code. Connext DDS Cert eliminates this time and reduces this cost by providing a COTS certification package. In addition, because it supports the DDS standard, applications are easier to develop, integrate, evolve and maintain than those using custom and proprietary solutions.

This DO-178C DAL A COTS certification evidence package benefits both military and commercial drones, also known as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). In the United States, UAVs have only been allowed to fly within line-of-sight of an observer, either on the ground or in a chase plane, and there are many other restrictions that have prohibited them from operating in the civilian National Airspace System (NAS). These restrictions limit their utility and make them expensive to operate. In order to unleash the potential of UAV and sUAS platforms by enabling their integration into National Airspace Systems (NAS), they will need to comply with civilian standards such as DO-178C. Connext DDS Cert makes it easier and more cost-effective to perform this integration particularly since most existing drone software was not designed to satisfy DO-178C requirements.

"We are thrilled to announce the general availability of this safety Certification Data Package for Connext DDS Cert," said David Barnett, VP of Products and Markets at RTI. "In addition to benefiting avionics, this COTS certification evidence package provides a foundation for certification using other Industrial IoT standards such as those for manufacturing and energy systems, medical devices and automotive communications and control components. We look forward to continuing to expand our technology offerings to help our customers and partners leverage the power of the Industrial Internet."

"SRC, Inc. is designing, integrating and testing a DO-178C Level B system of systems across VxWorks, Linux and QNX using RTI's DO-178C Level A Connext DDS Cert and Connext DDS products," said Greg Polhamus, Software Engineering Manager, SRC, Inc. "Each system installation contains up to 32 subsystems that all communicate via DDS in real time. A portion of the subsystems are co-located with the rest located miles away. We are successfully using RTI DDS for our inter-process and inter-subsystem communications, recording, and in our DO-178C automated test environment that runs on Windows. Having RTI's Connext DDS Cert product available allows us to move forward with our certification efforts with system deployment scheduled in 2016!"

"Wind River and RTI have been long-term partners in developing market-leading technology for commercial and military solutions," said Chip Downing, Senior Director of Business Development for Aerospace & Defense at Wind River. "As avionics systems, autonomous platforms, and UAVs continue to advance into more critical environments, security, safety, reliability, and performance are crucial capabilities that need to be proven. RTI's Connext DDS Cert software with COTS DO-178C certification evidence will provide the production-proven connectivity platform needed to realize the tremendous commercial opportunity of harvesting data in next generation IoT platforms."

"The Certification Data Package produced by Verocel, Inc. includes software life-cycle data that applies to DO-178C, as well as IEC 61508, the industrial automation standard," said George Romanski, CEO of Verocel. "It is equally applicable to the Medical and Rail Safety standards."

About DO-178C

RTCA DO-178C, "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification", is recognized as one of the most stringent safety standards in the world, and has decades of successful implementations by global aerospace companies. DO-178C is published by RTCA in the US and published as ED-12C by EUROCAE in Europe. The document is used by the FAA, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Air Transport Canada, and other aviation safety agencies world-wide for the approval of safety-critical avionics software.

DO-178C defines five levels of criticality, based on the effect of a software failure.  Level A is the most stringent and applicable to the most critical avionics systems. Connext DDS Cert was developed and verified to level A, allowing it to be used on a system of at any level.

About RTI

RTI provides the connectivity platform for the Industrial Internet of Things.

Our RTI Connext® messaging software forms the core nervous system for smart, distributed applications. RTI Connext DDS allows devices to intelligently share information and work together as one integrated system. RTI was named "The Most influential Industrial Internet of Things Company" in 2014 by Appinions and published in Forbes.

Our customers span the breadth of the Internet of Things, including medical, energy, mining, air traffic control, trading, automotive, unmanned systems, industrial SCADA, naval systems, air and missile defense, ground stations, and science. The total value of system designs that trust RTI for their fundamental architecture exceeds $1 trillion.

RTI is committed to open standards, open community source and open architecture. RTI provides the leading implementation of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard.
RTI is the world's largest embedded middleware provider, privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.