AdaCore Launches Traceability Analysis Package for DO-178B

Posted: March 20, 2009

PARIS, NEW YORK and AMSTERDAM, March 11, 2009 – Avionics 2009 – AdaCore, leading provider of Ada tools and support, today announced the availability of the GNAT Pro Traceability Analysis Package. This product and services solution comprises an Ada language feature analysis, including test cases and GNAT Pro switch recommendations, that can help developers demonstrate compliance of safety-critical software with the DO-178B avionics standard.

Depending on the application’s criticality level, DO-178B demands varying depths of analysis for showing coverage of the requirements by the software. In general it is sufficient to demonstrate coverage based on the source code. However, at the highest level (DO-178B, Level A), if the compiler generates object code not directly traceable to source code, then the developer needs to perform additional verification on the object code to establish the correctness of such generated code. The GNAT Pro Traceability Analysis Package provides a product/services solution that can reduce this effort.

“For a system at DO-178B Level A, a failure could be catastrophic and cause the loss of human life,” said Cyrille Comar, Managing Director, AdaCore Europe. “The release of the Traceability Analysis Package is a natural extension of our tool support for developers working in this critical area. It uses our intimate knowledge of both the Ada programming language and the GNAT Pro technology to provide accurate source-to-object code traceability analysis.”

“The GNAT Pro Traceability Analysis Package allows developers to use richer subsets of Ada while reducing certification costs,” said Robert Dewar, AdaCore President/CEO. “Although the code compiled for a more sophisticated feature might not be directly traceable to the source program construct, the analyses supplied in the Package provide the additional verification needed for compliance with DO-178B, Level A. The result is an overall reduction of effort and better usage of Ada language features.”

The GNAT Pro Traceability Analysis Package includes the following items, which AdaCore prepares based on a safety-oriented coding standard supplied by the customer:

Consistency analysis of the coding standard

Recommendations for those compilation switches and language restrictions offering the best tradeoff between performance of generated code and ease of showing traceability between source and object code

A test suite representative of the subset of the Ada language allowed by the customer’s coding standard

The analysis, for each test, of the traceability of the generated object code

Additional verification to establish the correctness of generated code that is not directly traceable to source code.

The Traceability Analysis Package complements AdaCore’s existing GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for DO-178B. This environment includes GNATcheck, a coding standard verification tool. With GNATcheck developers can enforce the specified coding standard or language subset covered by the Traceability Analysis Package.

Along with its partners, AdaCore is also heavily involved in “Project Coverage“, the first Open Source code coverage project for DO-178B and safety-critical systems. “Project Coverage” will produce a Free Software coverage analysis toolset together with artifacts that allow the tools to be used by developers of safety-critical and mission-critical projects, including systems that need to be certified under safety standards such as DO-178B. “Project Coverage” participants are AdaCore, Open Wide, ENST and LIP6 with financial support from French public funds.