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    1. What is the process for FAA software Type Certification? 2. Who provides a crosswalk between FAA Type Certification requirements and Army software certification requirements? 3. How do we keep from having to repeat software certification, to meet Army software requirements, for FAA type certified software?


    Answer

    1. What is the process for FAA software Type Certification?
     
    FAA software certification follows a process detailed in RTCA/DO-178B, “Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification.” RTCA DO-178 is the authoritative source for procedures to certify civil avionics software.  DO-178B describes the objectives of software life-cycle processes (requirements, design, development, coding, testing, configuration management, etc.), describes the process activities, and describes the evidence of compliance required at different software levels.  The software levels represent the severity of failure conditions on the aircraft and its operators/occupants. 
     
    You do not necessarily have to use DO-178B, but any proposed alternative process has to be equivalent or better than DO-178B.
     
    2. Who provides a crosswalk between FAA Type Certification requirements and Army software certification requirements?

    The Commanding General, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (CG, USAAMCOM), is the Army’s airworthiness approval authority.
    US Army Research and Development Command (USA RDECOM) Aviation Engineering Directorate (AED) provides the engineering assets and technical expertise to support airworthiness certification approvals. In this capacity they would be the primary point of contact to discuss or provide guidance on a crosswalk between FAA type certification requirements and Army software requirements (Bldg. 4488 Martin Road, C-100, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898, Phone: 256-313-8400).

    Additionally, MIL-HDBK 516B, Airworthiness Certification Criteria, provides a crosswalk of military requirements and commercial requirements. See section 15, Computer Resources, for a crosswalk of software related certification requirements.


    3. How do we keep from having to repeat software certification, to meet Army software requirements, for FAA type certified software?


    Any tailoring or reconciliation of DoD/Army requirements with FAA requirements must be addressed on a case by case basis. Again, engagement with the Army’s Aviation Engineering Directorate mentioned above is necessary.

    From DoDI 5030.61 Airworthiness Policy
    “Utilization of FAA airworthiness certification by a DoD airworthiness authority as a basis of certification is permissible provided the flight profile, operating environment, and continued airworthiness program as certified for that aircraft and the air system is similar to the intended usage of DoD. The DoD airworthiness authority will assess and certify the airworthiness of any existing gaps between the intended usage of the FAA certification and the intended usage of DoD.”

    From Army Regulation 70–62 Airworthiness Qualification of Aircraft Systems

    “When the Army plans to adopt or adapt the airworthiness approval/certification of a system/subsystem, component or similar item (for example, Technical Standard Order (TSO) component, commercial engine or related airworthiness data) from another agency for use on Army aircraft, the below situations will require the Army airworthiness authority to receive approval from the agency issuing that airworthiness approval/certification. Once the other agency’s airworthiness approval/certification is incorporated into a new Army airworthiness release, all Army-owned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems will use the new Army issued airworthiness release. This new release can be implemented for Army use or Army qualification as desired by the Army airworthiness authority. Army qualification and airworthiness release adaptation of the other agency’s approval—
    (1) Is required to support the flight test program.
    (2) Is required to fill all gaps between the scope of the previously approved version and the Army configuration, installation, and intended usage (flight profile and environments).
    (3) Will utilize existing technical data, from the contractor or other agency, if made available and determined to be compatible with Army usage. Supplemental new data may be required to fill in the gaps between the existing approved limits and Army intended usage.
    (4) May have to repeat previous simulations, tests, and analyses with different Army environments, profiles and configuration differences to determine prescribed limits for Army usage.
    Other recognized organizations from which airworthiness data may be adopted are the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, or a foreign organization to the extent their proposed airworthiness data has been accepted by a U. S. agency. The appropriate source is the one exercising engineering cognizance over the aircraft. Adopted data may include approvals that result from a demonstrated capability to function satisfactorily when used within prescribed limits found suitable for Army use and be in the form of any technical document that provides operating instructions and limitations necessary for safe operation and flight of an aircraft system, subsystem or allied equipment.”

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