NASA to study certification of software monitoring systems

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NASA plans to launch a research effort among several vendors to determine how software health management algorithms might be certified under existing or modified US FAA flight-critical software certification rules.

Software health management, which monitors and potentially mitigates the impact of onboard software failures, is an emerging research area within NASA and the broader aviation community.

NASA says it will conduct a competition for the new contract among its five "flight critical systems research" contractors-- Arinc, Boeing, ERA, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin.

The research is to include a review of existing regulatory guidance for flight critical aviation software and system level safety assessments, identifying new initiatives for assuring the safety of flight critical software in the next generation air transportation system (NextGen) and assessing the impact that software health management technologies might have on the existing and emerging assurance frameworks.