The focus of Document RTCA/DO-2541 (referred to herein as “DO-254”) is hardware reliability for flight safety. In other words, the FAA, EASA, and other world wide aviation safety authorities want to ensure that the complex electronic hardware used in avionics works reliably as specified, avoiding faulty operation and potential air disasters. DO-254 defines a process that airborne applicants and integrators must follow to get their hardware certified for use in avionics. DO-254, which the FAA began enforcing in 2005 (through AC20-152), is modeled after DO-178B, the equivalent process for certifying software, which was published in its original version (DO-178) over 25 years ago. While DO-254 originated as a civil aviation standard, it is also starting to be used on some military projects as well.
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