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Certification Processes for Safety-Critical and Mission-Critical Aerospace SoftwareThis document is a quick reference guide with an overview of the processes required to certify safety-critical and mission-critical flight software at selected NASA centers and the FAA. Researchers and software developers can use this guide to jumpstart their understanding of how to get new or enhanced software onboard an aircraft or spacecraft. The introduction contains aerospace industry definitions of safety and safety-critical software, as well as, the current rationale for certification of safety-critical software. The Standards for Safety-Critical Aerospace Software section lists and describes current standards including NASA standards and RTCA DO-178B. The Mission-Critical versus Safety-Critical software section explains the difference between two important classes of software: safety-critical software involving the potential for loss of life due to software failure and mission-critical software involving the potential for aborting a mission due to software failure. The DO-178B Safety-critical Certification Requirements section describes special processes and methods required to obtain a safety-critical certification for aerospace software flying on vehicles under auspices of the FAA. The final two sections give an overview of the certification process used at Dryden Flight Research Center and the approval process at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Nelson, Stacy
(Nelson Consulting Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2003
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NRA-8-30/TA/Northrup-Grumman
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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