Visible to the public Formal Methods and DO-178C

Presented as part of the 2012 HCSS conference.


DO-178 ("Software Considerations in Airborne Systems") provides certification guidance for the onboard software in commercial aircraft. The technologies for developing and verifying software have changed significantly since the publication of DO-178 version B in 1992. After more than six years of work, a committee of industry and government experts has produced DO-178C, incorporating new guidance related to model-based and object-oriented software, as well as formal methods. This presentation will provide an overview of software certification in commercial aircraft and describe the changes incorporated in DO-178C with a focus on formal methods.


Darren Cofer is a Principal Systems Engineer in the Trusted Systems group of ATC. He earned his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. His principal area of expertise is developing and applying advanced analysis methods and tools for verification and certification of high-integrity systems. His background includes work with formal methods for system and software analysis, the design of real-time embedded systems for safety-critical applications, and the development of nuclear propulsion systems in the U.S. Navy. He is currently the principal investigator on Rockwell Collins' META project with DARPA, and serves on RTCA committee SC-205 tasked with developing DO-178C, providing updated certification guidance for airborne software. He is an Associate Technical Editor for Control Systems Magazine and is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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Formal Methods and DO-178C
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