Military & Commercial Avionics Software Development & Design

Develop interactive, real-time graphical embedded HMI displays.

Challenges & Trends

The aerospace and defense industry currently faces a number of challenges that can put aircraft programs at risk of considerable cost overruns. Among the numerous hurdles are those related to the avionics system, which can account for a significant portion of program costs. In the past it was common practice to hand code all software components required, but this has become less practical in a rapidly evolving aerospace and defense industry, with pressures to deliver programs more quickly and on budget.

Standards compliancy continues to be a concern for mission and safety-critical programs, reinforcing the need for reliable, high quality code. The stringent requirements of DO-178B/C, a need for applications that interoperate with DO-254 compatible hardware and an increased desire for ARINC 661 compliancy can all lead to higher system complexity and the need for extensive testing which risks project delivery overruns and unforeseen expenditures.

Additionally, program managers are continuously looking for cockpit designs that incorporate the recommendations of Human Factors Specialists. Project requirements can rapidly evolve away from initial specifications, creating a need to not only implement these new requests, but also to quickly share design specifications across numerous development teams in different departments or even geographic locations.

The rising costs of embedded development means many companies are challenged to meet cost-savings goals when attempting to create, integrate, and maintain proprietary software systems. Additionally, hiring qualified engineers with the right expertise can be difficult when trying to keep pace with evolving standards, technologies, and customer requirements.

The Solution

Using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software developed by Presagis has allowed numerous OEM aircraft manufacturers, avionics suppliers, and system integrators to cut back program costs and reduce project delivery time including 30+ programs requiring DO-178B certification.

Avionics Display Development

For developing cockpit display applications, Presagis offers VAPS XT, a model-based development tool that includes automatic code generation functionality. The approach used allows the modeled design to be shared across different teams in order to obtain feedback from all stakeholders and maintain design consistency. Automatic Code Generation ensures that any changes needed can be implemented and re-tested in the shortest amount of time possible, without having to hand-code every time.

Standards Compliant Avionics Software Development

For projects requiring DO-178B/C certification there is VAPS XT-178, a version of VAPS XT specifically designed to simplify development by allowing users to leverage a qualifiable code generator to automatically output object code that is certifiable under the DO-178B/C standard. To complement the code generator, Presagis offers all supporting documentation and test cases required to claim credit for low level requirements towards DO-178B/C certification.  This approach has resulted in considerable cost savings and a significant reduction in the project development life cycle for Presagis customers. For projects requiring ARINC 661 compliancy, customers can implement the VAPS XT 661 module. In use since 2004, this module allows for the rapid implementation of ARINC 661 compliant graphics.

OpenGL Graphics Display Drivers

Presagis offers the SeaWind and SeaWind-178 OpenGL graphics display drivers. Created specifically for embedded systems with mission and safety-critical requirements, these drivers offer a wide range of hardware support, including options that meet DO-254 certification standards. Working closely with our hardware partners allows Presagis to create the most efficient driver possible, resulting in optimized system performance at a fraction of the resource cost.

Software Pre-integration

Creating both the VAPS XT development tool and the SeaWind OpenGL display drivers under one roof allows Presagis to further optimize performance and ensure reliability of the combined solution. This holistic approach is what marks Presagis as a leading industry expert in the Military and Commercial Avionics markets. 25 years of experience in avionics system development gives Presagis a thorough understanding of what it takes to complete aerospace programs, and continue to innovate by providing COTS software that satisfies the needs of our customers.

Optimizing performance is the Holy Grail when developing high-end graphics applications. We recently expanded our relationship with Presagis and our use of VAPS QCG to include the SeaWind driver for this very reason.  Having one supplier developing, supporting and optimizing both drivers and HMI products will help us to further enhance performance of our applications.

- Andreas Schacht, Defence Electronics, EADS Defence & Security