The tragic nature of
safety-critical software failure’s consequences makes high quality and extreme
reliability requirements in such types of software of paramount importance. Far
too many accidents have been caused by software failure error or where such
failure/error was part of the problem. Safety-critical software is widely
applied in diverse areas, ranging from medical equipment to airborne systems.
Currently, the trend in the use of safety-critical software in the aerospace
industry is mostly concentrated on avionic systems. While standards for
certification and development of safety-critical software have been developed
by authorities and the industry, very little research has been done to address
safety-critical software quality. In this paper, we study safety-critical
software embedded in airborne systems. We propose a lifecycle specially modeled
for the development of safety-critical software in compliance with the DO-178B
standard and a software quality assurance (SQA) model based on a set of four
acceptance criteria that builds quality into safety-critical software
throughout its development.