A Lean and Highly-automated Model-Based Software Development Process Based on DO-178C/DO-331

Konstantin Dmitriev, Shanza Ali Zafar, Kevin Schmiechen, Yi Lai, Micheal Saleab, Pranav Nagarajan, Daniel Dollinger, Markus Hochstrasser, Florian Holzapfel, Stephan Myschik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The emergence of a global market for urban air mobility and unmanned aerial systems has attracted many startups across the world. These organizations have little training or experience in the traditional processes used in civil aviation for the development of software and electronic hardware. They are also constrained in the resources they can allocate for dedicated teams of professionals to follow these standardized processes. To fill this gap, this paper presents a custom workflow based on a subset of objectives derived from the foundational standards for safety critical software DO-178C/DO-331. The selection of objectives from the standards is based on the importance, degree of automation, and reusability of specific objectives. This custom workflow is intended to establish a lean and highly automated development life cycle resulting in higher quality software with better maintainability characteristics for research and prototype aircraft. It can also be proposed as means of compliance for software of certain applications such as unmanned aircraft systems, urban air mobility and general aviation. By producing the essential set of development and verification artifacts, the custom workflow also provides a scalable basis for potential future certification in compliance with DO-178C/DO-331. The custom workflow is demonstrated in a case study of an Autopilot Manual Disconnection System.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDASC 2020 - 39th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728198255
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2020
Event39th AIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2020 - Virtual, San Antonio, United States
Duration: 11 Oct 202016 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2155-7195
ISSN (Electronic)2155-7209


Conference39th AIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, San Antonio


  • Agile development
  • DO-178C
  • DO-331
  • Lean software development
  • Model-based development
  • Requirements management
  • Safety critical systems
  • Software assurance


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