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IHI, which makes jet engines, found the LDRA tool-suite was 14-times quicker than previous coverage analysis processes after using it to verify its C and Ada source code for DO-178B certification.

Japan-based IHI selected LDRA’s tool suite because of its depth and diversity of tools, but given the extremely tight development schedule, the speed improvement helped the project succeed.

IHI is the primary contractor for aircraft engines used by the Ministry of Defense and participates in international co-operative projects developing large- to small-scale engines for civilian aircraft.

IHI is required to meet DO-178B Level A certification, the most rigorous testing standard for avionics software.

Under the DO-178B standard, software verification tools such as LDRA’s tool suite must be qualified on a project-by-project basis.

In assessing the merits of LDRA tool suite, IHI therefore placed a high value on the quality of vendor assistance for tool qualification.

LDRA’s track record of working with clients and the FAA to audit the LDRA tool suite for project use proved a significant factor.

The DO-178B standard details guidelines for the production of software for airborne systems.

DO-178B covers the complete software lifecycle: planning, development and integral processes to ensure correctness, control and confidence in the software.

The integral processes include requirements traceability, software design, coding and software verification.

To achieve the airworthiness objectives, requirements traceability and testing tools are essential.

Acknowledging the challenge of DO-178B certification, Osamu Kanmoto, manager of control systems engineering at IHI, said: ‘We had to meet the requirements of DO-178B Level A, which involves testing to modified condition decision coverage – not an easy task.’ The LDRA tool-suite tailors reports to give users DO-178B information quickly and concisely, speeding up the testing procedure.

In its implementation, IHI configured and adapted both the LDRA tool suite and its overall development processes to introduce high levels of automation by designing an efficient and repeatable process.

The LDRA tool suite has improved IHI’s ability to satisfy, audit and review designs.

IHI has future plans to leverage the powerful static analysis capabilities of the LDRA tool suite to gain an objective and quantifiable view of the quality of its source code.

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