Advantages of utilizing DO Compliant Autopilot for UAM & UAV Certification – Drones Information


As already explained in our contribution to the description of the standards for UAV certification, international regulations aim to expose drones and eVTOL airworthiness processes that correspond to type certificates or international standards. TSOs (Technical Standard Orders) / ETSOs, which are usually used in manned aviation.

There are many standards and regulations that can be used at different design and production levels by different standardization companies (e.g. SC-VTOL-01 / EASA, STANAG 4703, 4671, 4586 / NATO, EN / AS 9100 / ISO 9001 etc. ) When developing autopilots, the most common international regulations and standards come from SAE at the system level, e.g. B. SAE ARP4754A (system development) and SAE ARP4761 (for security assessment), and RTCA Inc. for the development of critical elements (ie software, hardware) such as DO-178C, DO-160G and DO-254 as well as the counterparts of EUROCAE ED-12 , ED-14G or ED-80.

Until a specific TSO is available for the UAV autopilot certification, a UAV certification
The process tracks system requirements, design, and verification based on the autopilot requirements.
Design and testing. This is why DO-178C and DO-254 are so important in the autopilot

I would like to certify my UAV or eVTOL. Where do I start?

Once the complexity of an aircraft and its operation are known, the tedious task of
Design an entire system that meets the applicable regulations for the desired system
The level of UAV certification, known as DAL (Development Assurance Level), will
Manifest. Each stage of development must meet and review specific guidelines and
Write down all results correctly.

In this scenario, it is a great advantage to be able to have all critical subsystems, e.g.
the autopilot that already meets DAL goals, safety requirements and others
Requirements that may result from the applicable regulation or the agreed certification basis.
In some cases, these subsystems can be integrated directly by tracking from above
System levels according to their equipment system requirements and the corresponding
Development artifacts that can be contained in a data packet. In other cases, some additional ones
Work may have to be performed due to various circumstances (e.g. insufficient DAL,
missing tracks etc.). One of the critical subsystems in UAV or eVTOL is flight control
Unit. It is a great protagonist in security assessments, during a UAM or
UAV certification process.

A certification-compliant autopilot is therefore a pretty big step forward in UAV
Certification process of a fully autonomous aircraft. However, we have to take that into account
The integration of a compatible autopilot in the aircraft does not lead to automatic
Certification of the subsystem and not just the aircraft system itself (i.e. RPAS, UAV, UAM)
aspects of the operation (e.g. mission profiles, geofencing, etc.) must also be taken into account.

The autopilot must be based on the system requirements and is therefore configured in the certification process for the aircraft. In most cases, this configuration must go through a certification process. So is it convenient to buy a DO compatible autopilot?

Advantages of a DO-compliant autopilot for UAV certification

It is undoubtedly convenient. The development of a critical subsystem that complies with all regulations is associated with an enormous expenditure of time and personnel for development. Purchasing an autopilot that previously complies with certification standards ensures that all development plans, designs, processes and other records such as configuration management, change control and records, etc., as well as requirements management and verification, comply with regulations. All of these documents and expertise make it possible to save years in the certification process and to save time and resources for the development of new hardware and software.

So you just need to make sure that the autopilot PDIFs (Parameter Data Item)
Files required for integration) meet the UAV certification requirements
Just a little bit of work (e.g. top-level testing) if it’s based on a robust platform that’s ready
Certification. This means that most of the documentation is ready for use and only that
Follow-up work from the upper levels of the system must be performed. In addition, this work is only one
In most cases, a specific configuration case is straightforward and potential
automatically generated documentation.

In addition, only the functions involved in the system need to be certified
Other functions of the autopilot that are not used or are not critical can be excluded
from certification according to known methods so that it complies with the regulations.

The configuration of the autopilot to adapt to the system is part of the integration of the
Autopilot and is defined and verified by the aircraft in the joint certification process
Designer. This process also has a robust basis and is well-founded and defined.

After all, verification is one of the key aspects for successfully completing a UAV certification
Process. With an autopilot ready for certification, all development processes such as software, hardware, configuration and quality are checked accordingly. Compliance with the regulations requires that the satisfactory result of all plans and processes is ensured. An autopilot according to the regulations therefore requires a critical subsystem, the
Development has been successfully verified.

We will help you

At Embention, we have adapted all of our development processes to the DO regulations. As a
As a result, all of our products are certification-friendly, which means they are ready to face one
Certification victorious! In particular, our Veronte Autopilot has been successful in certification projects in which all aspects of the regulations have been passed from their plans to their review and an extensive development and quality control has been carried out.

In a normal case, the customer comes to us and presents the functional requirements of the project. Our integration team gets to work and defines all activities that are necessary to meet the system requirements. In parallel, our certification team is currently starting with the standard documentation for the certification of our autopilot, which has been iteratively improved in various certification processes and adapted to customer requirements. This work includes the traceability of the applicable requirements, the documentation of the configuration and its verification as well as the registration of the activities for the integration of the autopilot into the UAV or eVTOL system. With the Veronte Autopilot, the customer receives documentation that is perfectly matched to the system and guarantees compliance with all the necessary regulations.

These features together with the autopilot redundancy make our Veronte Autopilot 4X a
Perfect candidate for the control unit of UAV or eVTOL with regard to certification. We
are fully involved in every Veronte autopilot integration process and we have it
Basics for an efficient, reliable and above all successful certification process

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