With the FAA and EASA adopting aviation standards such as DO-178C and ARP4754A, UAV software developers should familiarize themselves with these standards, particularly when transitioning to model-based design.
Few applications place more importance on verification, or prescribe more process guidance, than aviation. The FAA and its European equivalent, EASA, provide guidance using standards such as ARP4754 for aircraft systems and DO-178B for flight software. These standards are often used outside of civil aviation, in whole or in part, for applications including military aircraft and land vehicles. Adoption for UAV programs is rapidly growing because of the FAA’s recent decision to require UAS and OPA certification via FAA Order 8130.34A. UAV systems are heterogeneous, and not restricted just to flight software. Therefore, other standards are used such as DO-254 for hardware and DO-278 for ground and space software.