I work in academia, and often we are "accused" of living in an ivory tower with no connections to the real world.

To reduce the gap between academia and this "real world" I've heard about, I would like to involve EASA in the research project I am currently involved in.

What is the correct procedure to do this?

For clarity:

  • it would be only about software
  • it is not something covered by DO-178C/equivalents (I have problems/questions about the high-level requirements, that are an input for the procedures in DO-178)
  • it is a program running on a machine with a real-time operating system (RTOS) on board the aircraft. Currently we have no plans concerning maintenance cycles, so I would not be able to say if it could go on a easily exchangeable module (but my guess is no).
  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to determine if it is certifiable, or is it similar to an already certified system? Are you looking to include software or complex hardware (FPGAs, PLDs)? $\endgroup$ – selectstriker2 Aug 11 '17 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ @selectstriker2 In theory I know it is not even remotely certifiable as of now, and I would like to work with them on how to make it certifiable. Software only. Note that this is not a DO-178 issue. $\endgroup$ – Federico Aug 11 '17 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking at software embedded within a device/LRU or just the software program (such as one that would run in an RTOS)? $\endgroup$ – selectstriker2 Aug 11 '17 at 13:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @selectstriker2 (thanks for the questions!) currently I have no experience with LRUs, but from a brief look, I would guess it would not be compatible with such a strategy, so I have to say just the program, running on a machine with a RTOS. It goes in the airplane, but DO-178 covers the programming side, I have problems with the high level requirements. $\endgroup$ – Federico Aug 11 '17 at 13:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This might sound stupid, but did you try their official contact page? There should be a process that will bring you into contact with the proper person on the other side. In the end, you will not deal with EASA but a specific representative who is responsible for your request. Worked well for me most of the time. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 11 '17 at 17:26

DO-178 / ED-12C

Any software that executes on installed hardware in a type certified aircraft will need go to through DO-178C (or a similar process). The amount of effort involved depends on the safety criticality of the software functions.

Since this sounds like a new system without predefined System Requirements (such as those you would get from an OEM as part of the SAE ARP 4754A processes), those will need to be defined by your development process and then your Software (High Level) Requirements trace from those.

Here in the US, smaller companies will typically contact and work with the local ACO (Aircraft Certification Office) during the product planning stages to identify the product as following the DO-178C processes.

Larger companies, especially OEMs, tend to work with DERs (Designated Engineering Representatives) rather than directly with the ACO, as they may have dozens of different DO-178 projects going at one time.

EASA Software Certification

Guidance on the EASA Software Aspects of Certification can be found in EASA CM -SWCEH - 002 PDF

From that document, Panel 10 seems to be the part of EASA that you would work with, although I haven't found how a new applicant would go about contacting them yet.

The EASA panel in charge of software and AEH aspects of certification. This panel includes at least one software and AEH expert (who is the coordinator) and, depending on the size of the project, may include additional software and AEH experts.

There is also a FAQ page for the application processes with EASA:



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.