Safety-Critical Software Development for Integrated Modular Avionics

Many avionics systems have been successfully developed using custom hardware and software. However, over the last decade, the full lifecycle costs of customized systems have forced original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to consider the use of COTS-based systems.

At the same time, there has been a noticeable migration away from federated architectures, where each individual subsystem performs a dedicated function, toward generic computing platforms that can be used in multiple types of applications and, in some cases, can run multiple applications concurrently.

This approach, known as integrated modular avionics, or IMA, results in fewer subsystems that take up less space and have reduced weight and power consumption (often referred to as SWaP).

This paper explores:

  • Spatial Partitioning vs Temporal Partitioning
  • Tools for Safety-Critical Systems Development
  • Security Considerations for Networked IMA Systems
  • Safety Considerations for IMA Systems