Flight control systems at weControl
Since 2000, the subsidiary of Airbus SE, weControl, has been developing flight control systems to equip various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those of the French military, with the latest technology.
In doing so, a secure handling of requirements is of utmost importance, as due to the safety-critical context of the company, DO 178C compliance is mandatory when implementing embedded software in the products.
Thus, it was clear to the responsible persons at weControl from the beginning that common office tools such as Word or Excel could not provide the necessary functionalities to run a requirements management that could achieve such a certification.
In particular, it had to be ensured that clear, unchangeable requirements could be created, that different requirements could be linked to each other, and that complete and traceable versioning was guaranteed.
To meet these requirements, weControl intended to use a professional requirements management tool.
In addition to the functionalities relevant for certification, particular emphasis was placed on the easy and efficient usability of a solution.
For example, the graphical user interface should be able to easily switch between the display of different elements in order to efficiently write and review different requirements.
Furthermore, attention was paid to powerful import and export functions in order to be able to exchange requirements with external partners such as customers and suppliers.
The ability to use the tool On Prem was also of high importance, as the projects are relevant in the defence sector and therefore subject to special security guidelines.
The requirements management software ReqSuite® RM from OSSENO Software quickly proved to be a suitable candidate to support weControl’s requirements management in a target-oriented way.
In the course of several short workshops together with consultants from OSSENO Software, the process-related requirements of weControl were worked out. The users were able to learn directly how to operate and configure the tool and gain their own initial experience in its use.
Based on the functional possibilities of ReqSuite® RM, a data and process model were developed, on which the requirements management for the future projects according to DO178C at weControl should be carried out. These models were then implemented directly within the tool solution.
The result of this work was a database for requirements capture and maintenance that was individually configured to weControl’s needs.
This could thus be used directly and purposefully in a first project.
Due to the active participation of the users during the workshops as well as the high intuitiveness and complete adaptation of the solution to the needs of weControl, a separate training of the users was not necessary afterwards.
After the first project with the software was completed, the tool configuration could be adapted independently by weControl based on the experience gained, thus further optimizing the processes and structures.
The overall goal of a complete, linked, and comprehensible requirements documentation, which can be worked with efficiently, was thus fully achieved.
In particular, ReqSuite® RM helped to ensure that the established processes could be followed correctly, which enabled weControl to obtain DO 178C certifications for the project.
Initial doubts as to whether ReqSuite® RM could cover weControl’s needs were not confirmed.
Especially due to the continuous further development of ReqSuite® over time, weControl was always able to contribute its own feature requests, which have now also been fully implemented.
“ReqSuite® RM was the essential tool to achieve the quality required by the DO 178C certification. Especially the consideration and timely implementation of weControl’s needs in the further development of ReqSuite® RM contributed to the added value gained.”