1981-10-01

FAA Certification Criteria for Critical and Essential Digital Systems 811060

The advent of digital electronics for use in civil aircraft, particularly the new technology represented by central processor and microprocessor controlled systems, represents a major challenge to the aviation industry.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is charged with the responsibility of evaluating these systems to determine if they can be used safely. The complexity of these systems as compared to their analog counterparts in use today makes their evaluation difficult. This paper outlines the major concerns of the FAA with the use of software controlled digital systems for airborne applications. The methods which can be used by members of the aviation industry to obtain FAA certification of these systems are also discussed. The proposal of Special Committee SC-145 of the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) form the basis of the design methodology which is described for the successful development of the computer programs (software) to be used by these systems.

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