Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1939

A Structured Assurance Case for Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Airborne Electronic Hardware (AEH) 2018-01-1939

One particular issue with Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components is that they are not developed to avionics industry standards and that their design and development data remain proprietary, hence are not available for review to the levels expected by those standards. The purpose of this research was to assess feasibility and to provide recommendations in how COTS components could be “assured” at system level, i.e. possibly going beyond ED-80/DO-254 for AEH or ED-79A/ARP-4754A standard for systems. Based on a first overview of this question we concluded that on the one hand we could not completely get rid of ED-80/DO-254 or related material, which already provide some clues on how to handle COTS component assurance, and on the other hand, that ED-79A/ARP-4754A, though well suited for a system-level approach, neither specifically target COTS as is nor provides convincing evidence to support COTS assurance whatever their level of integration, their inherent complexity, or their allocated Development Assurance Level (DAL). These considerations naturally guided this research toward recommending a more global, system-wide approach rather than a system-level assurance process. This approach was later elaborated as a so-called “Structured Assurance Case” and revealed itself particularly suited to COTS AEH. It is further elicited in this paper.


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