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DO-254 Glossary of Terms

While not a comprehensive list, what follows are terms you may encounter as you begin to engage in DO-254 projects. Visit the FAA website for a complete glossary list.

DAL
Design Assurance Level, a safety criticality rating from level A-E, with level A/B being the most critical and requiring the most stringent DO-254/DO178B process
  • Level A: Where a software/hardware failure would cause and or contribute to a catastrophic failure of the aircraft flight control systems.
  • Level B: Where a software/hardware failure would cause and or contribute to a hazardous/severe failure condition in the flight control systems.
  • Level C: Where a software/hardware failure would cause and or contribute to a major failure condition in the flight control systems.
  • Level D: Where a software/hardware failure would cause and or contribute to a minor failure condition in the flight controls systems.
  • Level E: Where a software/hardware failure would have no adverse effect on the aircraft or on pilot workload.
DER
Designated Engineering Representative, an individual, appointed by the FAA to approve or recommend approval of technical data to the FAA. These individuals can work for a specific company (such as Boeing) or be independent consultants and serve as DERs to many other companies.
DO
Document, from RTCA
DO-178B
Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification, an aviation industry standard since 1992. A DO-178C standard is imminent.
DO-254
Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware, put into effect on FPGA/ASIC designs via AC 20-152 in 2005
DO-297
Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) Development Guidance and Certification Considerations
EASA
European Aviation Safety Agency, EU counterpart of FAA, pronounced "ee ah sa"
ED-12
EU equivalent of DO-178B
ED-80
EU equivalent of RTCA/DO-254
EUROCAE
European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment, equivalent of RTCA in the US, pronounced "Euro Kay"
FAA
Federal Aviation Administration, the US authority governing aviation
FAR
Federal Aviation Regulation, a set of requirements (US) that determines airworthiness of an aircraft. For example, large aircraft are subject to FAR 25 certification. See also JAR.

DO-254 Enabling Tools

Planning

Requirements Capture and Management

Conceptual Design

Detailed Design

Implementation/Production Transition

Verification and Validation