How VectorCAST supports compliance with DO-178B, DO-178C and DO-278
The structural testing process, as defined by DO-178B and DO-178C, revolves around testing the high and low-level requirements and analyzing the code coverage that results from this testing. On many projects, high-level or functional requirements are tested first. During this testing, VectorCAST/Cover can be used to capture and report on the Code Coverage achieved. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get 100% code coverage during system/functional testing.
The remaining code coverage is achieved using unit and integration testing techniques. Unit testing involves using drivers and stubs to isolate particular functions in your application, and stimulating those functions with test cases. These "low-level" tests are used to augment the previously executed system tests and allow you to get to 100% coverage.
VectorCAST/C++ and VectorCAST/Ada can be used to automate the unit and integration testing process. Most importantly, the code coverage achieved during unit and integration testing can be combined with the coverage achieved during system testing. Combined coverage reports are generated that reflect system, integration, and unit testing coverage achieved.
Testing on the Target
In most cases, all of the testing described above will need to be performed on the actual target hardware, or at a minimum, on a target simulator. For unit and integration testing, this is accomplished with VectorCAST/RSP (Runtime Support Package), which is cross-compiler/RTOS specific. When VectorCAST/RSP is used in combination with VectorCAST/C++ or VectorCAST/Ada, it gives you an automated unit/integration test environment for real-time testing.
DO-178B and DO-178C specify that qualification of a software tool is necessary when processes are eliminated, reduced, or automated by the use of a software tool without its output being verified manually. Complete tool qualification kits are available for all VectorCAST products. The VectorCAST tools have been qualified and used for certification on more than 50 DO-178B avionics systems, including Level A systems.
"VectorCAST is the backbone of our unit test and software integration lab. It uniquely provides us with the ability to increase the reliability and quality of our flight software. Commercial applications, such as the Boeing 777LR, and defense applications such as C5 and JSF have benefited from the use of VectorCAST."
-- Wayne Young, Honeywell Canada