Achieving Compliance with RTCA DO-254/EUROCAE ED-80 Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware: Quality Management Perspective 2022-01-0007
RTCA DO-254/ EUROCAE ED-80 “Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware” is a widely accepted industry standard to ensure safety in avionics hardware. FAA and EASA have recognized DO-254 as an acceptable means of compliance with the applicable airworthiness regulations for the electronic hardware. While microprocessor based complex hardware utilization in safety critical avionic hardware are increasing and DO-254 compliance is mandated by the certification authorities, development of DO-254 compliant or safety certifiable hardware is becoming more and more important and provides competitive advantage in the industry. The avionics manufacturers need to correlate their existing processes and procedures with DO-254 in order to satisfy DO-254 objectives in their own quality management system structure, which may be challenging and tricky. In this paper, complementary overview of DO-254 framework and guidance on realization of DO-254 objectives in the organization’s Quality Management System are provided. This paper is intended to help airborne electronic hardware equipment developers, integrators and subcontractors to assess typical impacts of DO-254 compliance requirements on their existing Quality Management System. DO-254 framework and objectives are elaborated, the recent supplementary clarifications and updates defined in EASA AMC 20-152A and their impact on DO-254 compliance are discussed. The diverging expectations from different Design Assurance Levels (DAL A to DAL D) are provided. Practical application recommendations are provided to illustrate the implementation of DO-254 from Quality Management System perspective. This paper researches on how to implement DO-254 and how to update company specific process and procedures to support DO-254 certifiable electronic hardware development.