Does DO-178C have any guidelines on using static code analysis for level A software?

As per Do-178C:

Section 6.3 Software Reviews and Analyses
Reviews and analyses are applied to the outputs of the software development processes. One distinction between reviews and analyses is that analyses provide repeatable evidence of correctness and reviews provide a qualitative assessment of correctness. A review may consist of an inspection of an output of a process guided by a checklist or similar aid.

An analysis may examine in detail the functionality, performance, traceability, and safety implications of a software component, and its relationship to other components within the system or equipment

Can this achieved by Static analysis ? Some of the tools like polyspace which has misra standard checks

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    $\begingroup$ This is a software question, doesn't fall within the scope of this site. stackoverflow.com is a better place to ask this. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jul 12 '19 at 11:27
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    $\begingroup$ While the question does pertain to software, this question is really targeting the certification of software in avionics, which is on topic here. $\endgroup$ – selectstriker2 Jul 12 '19 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ What DO-178 objective are you hoping to meet using static code analysis? Are you looking to take credit for using static code analysis in some fashion? $\endgroup$ – selectstriker2 Jul 12 '19 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @selectstriker2. This question is primarily about how DO-178C works and less about static analysis itself. You could replace static analysis with formal methods or even integration testing and the answer would be mostly the same. $\endgroup$ – Cody P Jul 16 '19 at 15:20

DO-178C is a means of compliance, so it sets out what you need to do to show you are meeting your required safety levels in your design. It does not give advice on what methods you might use along the way.

I have seen static analysis used as part of the process, often with hardware integration and system testing.

DO-178 tools need to be qualified for DO-178 if you are using them to test your software. I am not aware of anyone successfully using tools qualified for other standards (e.g. MISRA) in avionics.


Static Analysis is usually used in the SDP and SVP as a means of enforcing coding standards and conventions, as well as part of the effort to ensure that the code is IEEE 754/C99 (or whatever you stated) compliant. This is usually a means to cut down on review findings, increase code quality, and ease verification by inspection.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Av.SE. I'm not sure that this answers the stated question. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Aug 29 '20 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ You're right. The answer to the question is "No, DO-178 does not specifically require Static Analysis for any DAL level." What I answered, was where Static Analysis fell in, under DO-178 were you to include it. The Software Development Plan (SDP) or Software Verification Plan (SVP), and why it's included. Now the question of whether you can get a DER and AER to sign off on a PSAC/SDP/SVP that are for DAL A software and don't include Static Analysis is a separate issue, but there'd likely need to be a good amount of justification why it's not being used. $\endgroup$ – John Volock Feb 22 at 16:24

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