Date of Award
MS in Aerospace Engineering
David D. Marshall, Ph.D.
Requirements verification is typically the costliest part of the systems engineering design process. In the commercial aircraft industry, as the software and hardware design evolves, it must be verified to conform to requirements. In addition, when new design releases are made, regression analysis must be performed which usually requires repeat testing. To streamline verification, a suite of automated verification tools is described in this document which can reduce the test effort. This test suite can be qualified to be used to verify systems at any DO-178B design assurance level. Some of the software tools are briefly described below.
There are major advantages of this automated verification effort. The tools can either be internally developed by a company or purchased "off the shelf", depending upon budget and staff constraints. Every automated test case can be run with the click of a button and failures caused by human factors are reduced. The station can be qualified per DO-178B guidelines, and can also be expanded to support ARINC 429, AFDX, Ethernet, and MIL-STD-1553 interfaces. The expansion of these test programs would enable the creation of a universal avionics test suite with minimal cost and a reduction of the overall program verification effort.
The following is a presentation of an automated test station capable of reducing verification time and cost. The hardware and software aspects needed to create the test station are examined. Also, steps are provided to help guide a designer through the tool qualification process. Lastly, a full suite of test functions are included that can be implemented and customized to verify a wide range of avionics communication characteristics.