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DO-178B Level A System



Project Name:
DO-178B Level A System

Aerospace & DO-178

Software Life-Cycle & DO-178B Certification

Project Scope

A Fortune 500 aerospace company needed assistance to design and develop the ARINC 429 communications interface and ARINC 739A protocol system associated with the Secondary Power Distribution Assembly (SPDA). The SPDA distributes, controls, and protects electrical power using solid-state power controllers in an aircraft.


The ARINC 429 standard specifies the serial communication protocol between aircraft embedded systems, enabling systems designed by different manufacturers to communicate with each other. ARINC 739A is a characteristic specification for the interface with the Multipurpose Control and Display Unit (MCDU).


With internal staff focused on design for the larger system, the company needed a certification-experienced partner to design, develop, and test the two communications protocols. They turned to Belcan because of its depth and breadth of experience in safety-critical embedded software systems that must meet the most stringent of DO-178B requirements.



Working with the client’s internal software and hardware teams, Belcan developed the communications software in the C language. Following the development phase, Belcan also worked closely with the client to integrate and perform complete verification testing for the system. The SPDA software was certified to DO-178B, Level A, and met ARINC 429 and ARINC 739A standards for the SPDA and the MCDU.


Key Values / Benefits

Belcan program management and software development experts handled requirements, design, development, and systems-level verification, which resulted in a DO-178B system, using ARINC 429 for communications and ARINC 739A for the control and display unit, certified to the most critical level.

Expert knowledge of the requirements for DO-178B certification
The company chose Belcan because of its expert knowledge in DO-178B certification of safety-critical embedded software applications.
Full life-cycle software experience
Belcan’s experience with avionics projects provided the depth and breadth of programming knowledge for cost effective design, development and verification of DO-178B compliant software.
Regular communication
In addition to the regular formal status meetings with Belcan, the client participated in software reviews. The client visited Belcan headquarters for program management reviews. Belcan also traveled to the client’s site regularly to interface with the project team and to use their lab facilities.
Expertise in ARINC systems
Belcan was chosen for this project because of their vast experience in designing, implementing, and testing ARINC systems.
Belcan’s commitment to long-term partnerships
Typical of Belcan’s long-term partnerships, the experience gained on this project has been leveraged by Belcan in other development projects.
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