Traceability Analysis Helps Rockwell Collins Achieve DO-178B Certification

BOSTON, December 4, 2012  - ACM SIGAda HILT Conference -  AdaCore today announced the successful usage of its Code Traceability Analysis for DO-178B by Rockwell Collins in the certification of the Integrated Display System (IDS) for a large, next-generation, commercial aircraft. The Traceability Analysis package is part of the evidence needed to satisfy the DO-178B objectives for structural code coverage at Level A, the highest (most stringent) level for avionics software safety.

The IDS, featuring Rockwell Collins’ EFIS/EICAS Interface Unit (EIU-7001), includes many of the advanced features found on the Boeing 787, such as an electronic checklist with cursor control panel, navigation performance scales and vertical situation displays. This critical system is Level A and was developed in Ada using AdaCore’s GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for DO-178B, targeted to PowerPC-ELF and using the Zero Footprint (ZFP) run-time library.

Certification at Level A is a major effort, involving a variety of software life cycle processes. One of the verification process activities entails demonstration of complete coverage of the source code through requirements-based tests. If any object code is not traceable to the source code (for example, if a high-level source construct is compiled into complex object code involving conditional instructions) then DO-178B specifies the following activity: ‘additional verification should be performed on the object code to establish the correctness of such generated code sequences’. AdaCore has developed an infrastructure and methodology to perform this activity; the product of this activity is a source-to-object Code Traceability Analysis.

AdaCore’s approach has been successfully used in the past, saving customers time and effort in conducting DO-178B certification. In light of this successful previous experience, Rockwell selected AdaCore to conduct an analogous traceability analysis for this next generation IDS Program. Rockwell has now successfully completed the certification of its IDS, with AdaCore’s Traceability Study serving as part of the full certification evidence.

“The traceability analysis that is needed to meet the structural code coverage objectives requires a detailed knowledge of both the source language semantics and the generated object code,” said Robert Dewar, AdaCore President and CEO. “With our expertise in the Ada language and compiler technology, AdaCore was uniquely qualified to perform this analysis both accurately and efficiently. This allowed Rockwell Collins engineers to devote their energies to certification activities directly related to their actual application.”

Pricing and Availability
AdaCore’s Code Traceability Analysis for DO-178B is adaptable based on the customer’s coding standard and specific target configuration. Please contact AdaCore ( for information on pricing and supported configurations.

About AdaCore
Founded in 1994, AdaCore is the leading provider of commercial software solutions for Ada, a state-of-the-art programming language designed for large, long-lived applications where safety, security, and reliability are critical. AdaCore's flagship product is the GNAT Pro development environment, which comes with expert on-line support and is available on more platforms than any other Ada technology. AdaCore has an extensive world-wide customer base; see for further information.

Ada and GNAT Pro see a growing usage in high-integrity and safety-certified applications, including commercial aircraft avionics, military systems, air traffic management/control, railroad systems, and medical devices, and in security-sensitive domains, such as financial services. The SPARK Pro toolset, available from AdaCore, is especially useful in such contexts.

AdaCore has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.

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