By Bill Graham
An important distinction that gets drilled into people new to safety
critical systems and certification of said systems is the difference
between "certified" and "certification evidence." When certifying a
safety critical system to a very strict standard such as DO-178B, the
system as a whole is certified not individual components such as
operating systems or middleware.
Verification and validation of safety
critical systems is very expensive and time consuming. However, to
greatly reduce the burden of testing and test reporting, the use of
Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware and software is required.