June, 2019 – Stony Mountain, Canada – MicroPilot Inc. is nearing the end of a five-year effort to achieve DO-178C Design Assurance Level B certification for its upcoming MP2128HELI3 autopilot. This certification will simplify the task for operators of RPAS/UAVs to obtain authorization from regulators to conduct missions in higher risk areas where RPAS/UAV operations are prohibited, such as over population centres.
DO-178C is a software certification standard for airborne systems. To achieve this level of certification, software must be thoroughly documented, pass rigorous design reviews, and be extensively tested. As with all aviation standards, complying with DO-178C is extremely difficult.
“DO-178C is an enormously expensive process and this project represents an ongoing commitment to moving the industry forward,” says Howard Loewen, president of MicroPilot Inc. “Certifiable software is a key piece of the RPAS/UAV regulatory puzzle and will open the door to higher value uses for RPAS/UAVs.”
A key feature of the MP2128HELI3 that enables it to achieve the DO-178C certification standards is the use of a partitioned operating system. Partitioning allows both certified and uncertified software to execute on the same processor and simplifies the task of certification by greatly reducing the amount of software that requires certification. Partitioning also provides greater flexibility by simplifying the addition of non-safety critical code. Without partitioning, non-safety critical code must be certified as if it were safety critical.
After more than half a decade of work and a process that began with the creation of MicroPilot’s XTENDERValidate requirements generation software and trueHWIL simulator, MicroPilot’s DO-178C efforts are scheduled to be completed by end of Q2 2020.
Started in 1994, MicroPilot is the world leader in professional autopilots for UAVs and drones. MicroPilot is an ISO 9001 certified autopilot manufacturer that markets single-board autopilots, enclosed autopilots, and a triple redundant autopilot. MicroPilot offers a family of lightweight UAV autopilots that can fly fixed wing, transitional, helicopter, and multirotor UAVs. MicroPilot also provides complementary products such as the XTENDERmp, SDK, and trueHWIL2. MicroPilot autopilots have been purchased by more than 1000 customers in 85 countries.