Tag Archive for: Airborne Systems

Requirements management for Aerospace Development

In this blog, we recap a webinar discussing Integrating Requirements Management with Planning and Checklist Processes for Aerospace Development.

Aerospace systems development requires provable requirements management and traceability. DO-178C (airborne software), DO-254 (airborne firmware/hardware), and ARP4754A (aircraft/systems) also require reviews, audits, and proof thereof. The best “proof” is detailed and complete DO-178C, DO-254, and ARP4754A checklists covering the primary software lifecycle activities and artifacts. And now that AFuzion’s compliance templates and checklists are integrated within Jama Connect, teams can automate your requirements management, planning, process, and review checklists in a single solution.

Using AFuzion’s DO-178C and DO-254 templates for plans, standards, and checklists ensures that you have an appropriate framework for successfully developing and certifying your system. These templates and checklists can also help in getting organizations to the goal of higher SEI CMM/CMMI ratings (preferably Level 3 – 4+). Usage of AFuzion process templates and checklists are intended to maximize the probability of project success and quality.

Learn how the partnership between Jama Software and AFuzion helps teams:

  • Reduce costs by using pre-built material from the most well-known industry experts instead of spending 2-3 person years typically necessary to develop these internally
  • Eliminate tools silos by keeping your process documents in line with your requirements data
  • Learn how to communicate process requirements to your engineering teams

Below is an abbreviated transcript and a recording of our webinar.

Requirements Management for Aerospace Development

Cary Bryczek: When we talk to our friends in the field, customers, our peers, and subject matter experts, we hear about increasing complexity required to design new products and systems and keep on track with their certification plan. The path to certification and in some cases, multiple certifications at a time spans multiple years sometimes beyond a decade. Development cycles are seeing increasing complexity driving the need for more and more automation and modern tools to support that. Across the plane collaboration, it’s not being achieved due to all of these different tools and the processes. New connected products and systems are not just complicated, they introduce significant risks into the certification process. Ensuring the compliance of safety-critical systems with faster iterations and evolving solutions is more difficult and time-consuming. Regulations themselves in are increasing due to things like automated flight components, urban air mobility, and other technology drivers. We’re seeing just huge, rapid changes in the market itself.

Related: Live Traceability™ for Airborne Systems Development

Cary Bryczek: We see a number of market drivers that are changing the dynamics of system development. For example, the push to electric propulsion aircraft in components is rapidly occurring. Battery technology, as you know, as you know is kind of driving down the costs, and commercial hybrid-electric flight it really is going to be a reality and it’s insight. The development of UAM vehicles is expected to accelerate over the next decade. However, there are significant challenges that need to be worked out. Regulations are still in flux and need to be established for pilotless vehicles, airworthiness certifications, and even the use of the airspace itself. Are you ready for those new challenges? I’m just like me from the Jama side is your requirements and compliance platform and the associated processes ready? Vance, is this something that you see in your day-to-day life with your customers?

Vance Hilderman: Cary, it’s a fantastic question and I’m so pleased to be here. We want to welcome everybody this morning, afternoon, and evening. We’ve got hundreds of viewers here, it’s terrific. It is such a common question. And frankly, that provided the foundation eight years ago, when we began developing the content that you now have in Jama Connect and it’s just terrific. It takes so many hundreds of person-years of engineers to really create a great aircraft a system. And it only takes a few mistakes to cause mistakes. Well, we’re pleased to say that we you’ve got hundreds of years of experience into building what you now have in the Jama Connect content. These plans, standards, and templates and really the only way to go is by using something that’s been proven in the past.

Think about it. How many of our listeners today and viewers are designing an all-new aircraft with completely new technology, a material that’s never been used, an engine, a motor? No, no. That’s not how we progress in engineering or aviation, it’s incremental. Well, folks, the incremental is done with this content. It’s ready to be used and we’re really excited to show you how you can really optimize your daily efforts to not save hours or days once, years but decades of time. Cary, you’re absolutely right. Let’s dive in.

Download the Requirements Traceability Benchmark HERE 

Cary Bryczek: Yeah, let’s just jump right in. I think legacy processes and digital paper really isn’t enough to handle the modern system. Legacy tools are siloed. If you store all of your content in SharePoint and documents, you really run a lot of risk for missing something. Who has the latest version? That’s not agile in any way. It doesn’t facilitate things like collaboration. It’s not scalable. And the expense for compliance, just using documents that are separate from your engineering tools is just time-consuming. Though one of the techniques that’s really hot out there is this notion of digital transformation. It’s really the goal today in all companies.

How are you going to get there with just a document-based legacy process and tools? You’re not. If you want to change the game, you need to bring your digital processes and data together to drive that innovation. When you capture your customer and regulatory requirements digitally, connect them to system architecture, design engineering, simulation, you’re bringing your teams together in the virtual world and creating your digital thread. This is what results in getting products to market faster with improved cost-effectiveness. This is what enables you to accelerate that path to certification. It also results in supporting the new reality of remote work and geographically distributed teams. Vans, are you seeing a lot of geographically distributed teams?

Watch the full webinar to learn more about Integrating Requirements Management with Planning and Checklist Processes for Aerospace Development


Live Traceability™ for Airborne Systems Development

Live Traceability™ for Airborne Systems Development

Airborne systems are incorporating more cutting-edge technology and becoming more complex with advanced embedded computing technologies, electric propulsion systems, sensors and data, and airframes. A major percentage of this complexity is handled at the software level. Any error in the avionics software of safety-critical airborne electronics could be catastrophic to the aircraft, its occupants, or persons on the ground. 

Airborne systems development requires developers to adhere to the most rigorous safety standards in the world. These extremely rigorous, plan-driven, development processes are unimaginable to developers who have not done it before. Certification is expensive. Delays in certification due to lack of evidence of following mandated guidelines could spell the demise of a new startup. Mistakes in design and development could cost lives. Manual documentation or the use of legacy tools introduce risk. Achieving certification for safety-critical airborne software is costly and time consuming. Once certification is achieved, the deployed software cannot be modified without recertification. 

Airborne certification bodies such as the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recognize international standards as “acceptable means, but not the only means, for showing compliance with the applicable airworthiness regulations for the software aspects of airborne systems and equipment certification.” The most common standards that are followed for airborne systems as a means of compliance are: RTC DO-178C (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-12C), DO-254 (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-80), and SAE 4754A (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-79) standards for Airborne systems.    

Related Reading: Better Product Development: Five Tips to Achieve Live Traceability™

Demonstration of traceability is fundamental to each of these standards as the evidence mechanism to demonstrate that safe design practices were followed.  Jama Connect provides an efficient way to capture traceability in a “Live” manner as artifacts (requirements, tests, risks etc…) are being created. Manual document methods and legacy tools will require engineers to create the trace relationships after the development has been done. This could introduce risk as well as lengthen development times.  

Traceability models assist users to create consistent traces between data, then query that data, and provide consistent trace nomenclature between different tools in the ecosystem. The standards are where to begin when defining a traceability model for airborne systems. For example, ARP4754A/ED-79 describes the identification of requirements at the aircraft level, system level, and at an item design level. These requirements interact and are “traced” to various safety related data as well as verification tests. In Jama Connect data artifacts called item types are defined to capture this data and a relationship ruleset is put in place to govern the traces and provide the facility to analyze and report on the traces. 

ARP4754A process interactions between safety and development.

In Jama Connect data artifacts called item types are defined to capture this data and a relationship model is put in place to govern the traces and provide the facility to analyze and report on the traces. In the figure below the relationship model that Jama Connect automatically draws for you, the item types are: Function, Failure Analysis, System Architecture, System Requirement etc. The traces relationships are depicted as the lines between the items types. 

The airborne systems software standard DO-178C/ED-12C requires a “documented connection” (called a trace) between the certification artifacts. In the figure below from DO-178C, users must document traces between system requirements and high level software requirements (HLR). HLRs must be traced to software low level requirements (LLR) as well as test cases and software architecture. LLRs must be traced to test cases and source code. 

For example, a Low Level Requirement (LLR) traces up to a High Level Requirement (HLR). A traceability analysis is then used to ensure that each requirement is fulfilled by the source code, that each requirement is tested, that each line of source code has a purpose (is connected to a requirement), and so forth. Traceability ensures the system is complete. The rigor and detail of the certification artifacts is related to the software level. 

DO-178 mandates requirements-based testing. Each requirement must have associated tests exercising both normal processing and error handling, to demonstrate that the requirement is met and that the invalid inputs are properly handled. The testing is focused on what the system is supposed to do, not the overall functionality of each module. In figure X the Jama Connect traceability model demonstrates this end to end traces from aircraft functions, to system level, and lower level software as well as the verifications covered in all of the standards 

In addition to requirements to test coverage demonstration, the airborne systems standards call for bi-directional traceability between code and requirements. The source code must also be completely covered by the requirements-based tests. “Dead code” (code that is not executed by tests and does not correspond to a requirement) is not permitted. Jama Connect’s Live Traceability allows for connections to other tools in the ecosystem that engineers are using to perform these activities such as testing tools such as LDRA Tool Suite and SW configuration management tools such as Git. The LDRA tool suite is a flexible platform for producing safety, security, and mission-critical software in an accelerated, cost effective and requirements driven process. The tool suite’s open and extensible architecture integrates software life-cycle traceability, static and dynamic analysis, unit test and system-level testing on virtually any host or target platform.  Finding the dead code using LDRA makes this an easy task. The figure below describes an example of a best of breed tool ecosystem facilitated by Live Traceability. 

Jama Connect’s Live Traceability supports capabilities to both continuously sync data between tools in the ecosystem or display the live linked data within the UI. Organizations may require one or both use cases to support their digital transformation efforts. Tools like Syndeia from Intercax can easily make use of Jama’s Live Traceability to perform synchronizations as well as provide services to author, query, visualize, and curate open digital threads. 

Live Traceability performs a crucial role when it comes to review. DO –178 calls for, and is required for the higher DAL levels, what is called “transition criteria.” Essentially this means that reviews of the traceability itself must be demonstrated. Jama’s Review Center streamlines this by displaying the up and downstream traces right in the context of the review. 

Airborne systems have far more onerous governance and compliance hurdles than other industries such as automotive, finance, or medical. The standards require evidence that traceability evaluations were performed. Traceability evaluations must also be independently assessed by four successive levels of traceability assessments:  1) engineering author, 2) an independent engineering reviewer, 3) a software quality assurance auditor, and lastly, 4) a certification liaison reviewer from FAA or EASA. 

Related Reading: [Webinar Recap] Lessons Learned for Reducing Risk in Product Development

At the end of the day, Airborne Systems developers must provide evidence of compliance to the certifiers. Live Traceability provides the ability, for the first time, to manage by exception the end-to-end airborne design assurance process across all engineering disciplines. The traceability model defines required data traces called for by the standards that can be compared to actual activity to generate exceptions. These exceptions are the early warning indicators of issues that most often lead to delays, cost overruns, rework, defects, and certification deficiencies.  


The benefits of using Live Traceability in airborne systems development within Jama Connect and across a tool ecosystem are as follows: 

  •  Proves Airborne Systems compliance articulated in the industry standards in real time without the need to create traces after the fact and enhances the visibility that the defined process is being followed. 
  • Provides simplified project estimates, reduces the risk of delays, cost overruns, rework, defects, and recalls with early detection of issues through exception management, and saves 40 to 110 times the cost of issues identified late in the process. 
  • No disruption to engineering teams that continue working in their chosen best-of-breed tools with no need to change tools, fields, values, or processes. 
  • Increase productivity and satisfaction of engineers with the confidence that they are always working on the latest version, reflective of all changes and comments. 

Click here to learn more about Live Traceability™ and get your free Traceability Diagnostic!


2022 Airborne Predictions

In many ways, 2021 was a continuation of the changes brought about in 2020, a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled.” In a unique way, 2021 has offered us an idea of evolving innovations and technology on the horizon for teams across industries. These changing conditions will present a variety of new landscapes and will offer unique challenges, opportunities, and more than likely, many surprises.   

As we enter a new year of further changes, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond.  

This is the fourth part of our five-part series. In this blog, we asked for feedback on product and systems development trends anticipated for the airborne product and systems development industry in 2022 and beyond.  

First, we’ll hear from Cary Bryczek – Principal Solutions Architect at Jama Software, Michael Soden – Lead Product Manager for Safety Analysis at Ansys, and Mazen El Hout – Product Manager for Embedded Software for A & D at Ansys. Then, we hear from Vance Hilderman – Chief Technical Officer at AFuzion Inc.

Read our other 2022 Industry Predictions here: Part One – Engineering Predictions, Part Two – Medical Device Predictions, Part Three – Automotive Predictions, and Part Five – Insurance Development Market Predictions.

Airborne Predictions 2022 Part I:  

Design Trends

Q: What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2022?

Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: In 2022 we will see even more new space launch companies and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) both enter the market as new companies and those that are already in the market will receive more funding. The commercial demand and competition among companies is driving some very exciting technologies to mature at a rapid pace.  

Q: What are the biggest trends you’re seeing in your industry right now? How will they impact A&D product, systems, and software development? 

Ansys: Regarding commercial aviation, major trends include the rise of the new air mobility to transport passengers in jammed cities. Those air-taxi services would require air vehicles capable of taking off and landing vertically. Some of them are piloted and others fully autonomous. Most of them rely on fuel-alternative propulsion systems, such as full electric or hybrid propulsion, which means completely new energy and system architectures that should be safe and performant.

Also, fixed-wing transport aircraft are moving in the autonomous direction with single pilot aircraft initiatives at some aircraft manufacturers with high impacts on cockpit display systems. In the defense industry, autonomous systems are also gaining attention with the use case of manned fighter jet supported by unmanned loyal wingman, or a swarm of drones doing formation, involving the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to extend capabilities of traditional methods of developing control systems and software. 

Tool Innovation

Q: From an A&D engineering toolset perspective, what are some of the processes you think forward-thinking firms will be working to leverage or incorporate into their process and why? 

Ansys: Key development processes include Model-Based System Engineering, Model-Based Safety Analysis, and Code Generation, to cope with the increasing complexity of next generation systems and reduce their time to market and cost of development. Model-based Design leads to harmonized safety analysis with system and software designs. In addition, cloud-based computing is becoming essential to benefit from high performance computing services and effective storage, easier maintenance, and better collaboration.  

Q: In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change? 

Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: It is such an exciting time for technology right now and a lot of what consumer, aerospace systems and defense systems will see in the next decade is already here. We will just see that technology is being incorporated into more and more systems. AI capabilities will do more and more of the heavy lifting such as data parsing so that systems such as the Mars Reconnaissance Rover (MRO) can provide selective data back to engineers faster. The explosion of data is at the heart of everything. It is both a boon and a burden. Those companies that learn to exploit the sheer amount of data being captured from every device and system will be faster to bring their technology to market. Data privacy challenges will likely remain the same as they are now with political climates and some now talking about de-globalization.  

RELATED POST: Webinar Recap – Transformative Airborne Systems Development


Q: What changing regulatory guidelines do you anticipate having an impact on companies in 2022? 

Ansys: Several regulations are impacting new systems design. First, the regulations related to the usage of AI and machine learning inside autonomous air vehicles are driven by standardization such as European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) where Ansys contributes with major industrial players. Regulations related to VTOL aircraft with advanced controls, controls are published as special conditions and mean of compliance by certification authorities (eg EASA). Additionally, many other regulations and special conditions are related to Hybrid Electric and Hydrogen propulsion.

In terms of safety standards, there is a new revision of safety standard: SAE ARP4761 A (including Model-Based Safety Analysis), expected to be published in 2022 extending safety analysis methods and the DO-356, describing cybersecurity methods and consideration for airborne systems. As for engineering standards, the Object Management Group is releasing a new version 2 of SySML on system modeling language, which will transform the way engineers create their systems design. 

Q: How do you foresee regulations shifting in Air and Space Product and Systems Development over the next decade?  

Cary Bryczek, Jama SoftwareRegulators in the EU, US, and China will all be trying to find ways to accelerate changes to their existing regulations in order to keep pace with the rate of aircraft (manned and unmanned) technology change and new development. The most challenging of regulations center around the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as well as classification of new types of aircraft that use existing airframes but now use different propulsion and avionics systems. Aircraft of today and tomorrow just don’t fit neatly into the regulatory bodies existing definitions. For space systems and operations, there are no less than 42 ISO standards alone under development. Many of these center around space debris, interference, and quality measures. 

Biggest Challenges

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you think A&D engineering firms will be working to overcome in 2022? 

Ansys: Building sustainable and performant system architectures without safety compromises is a big challenge we see at the product design level.  More and more autonomous and connected systems imply more vulnerability in the systems, therefore cybersecurity is mandatory to prevent cyberattacks.  Electronics reliability for autonomous vehicles is another important element to consider when dealing with the physics of failure. Finally, a key element to boost productivity and innovation is to provide scalable and cloud accessible engineering tools, for a more collaborative and distributed way of working. 

Q: Any major disruptions to Air and Space Product and Systems Development industry you’re anticipating in 2022? 

Cary Bryczek, Jama SoftwareThe COVID Pandemic will remain a major disruptor across the board. Supply chains are highly complex with manufacturers juggling multiple suppliers and subcontractors to design and integrate the products. Just in time materials processes which prior to covid were a best practice is now one cause of delays. Larger companies will seek to produce components themselves or acquire the companies that can do this for them. 


Q: What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2022? 

Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: Regulatory training at all levels of both engineering and business staff will be important. Digital engineering tools and approaches are being pushed into both engineers and project managers’ hands at an increasing pace. Understanding not only how to use them but how to use them within the highly complex regulatory landscape in an efficient manner will be key. 

Q: What do you think will remain the same in your industry throughout 2022? 

Ansys: The full electric air mobility, even though it seems very promising, will most likely not be fully mature in 2022, in terms of technology, regulations, and infrastructure. 

Q: What do you predict for regulation in the A&D industry in 2022? Will those trends still be prevalent 5 years from now? 10 years? 

AnsysMany regulations for the use of AI in embedded software related to the certified context will emerge leading to fully autonomous flight for small/medium aircraft. 

Evolving Landscape

Q: What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not? 

Cary Bryczek, Jama Software: The companies that will successfully survive to 2030 are those who are able to A) continuously perform rapid impact analyses during any phase their product’s lifecycles as requirements change and disruptions to supply chains take place. Companies that do not have robustly integrated design and lifecycle data or only utilize manual processes are at a higher risk of failure when the product they bring to market is late or are at the mercy of delays to their supply chains. B) Companies will need to walk a careful tightrope of exposing enough of their project to the outside world to attract much needed investment funding and yet still keep their intellectual property secret. C) Companies will need to invent new ways to retain their talent to prevent evaporation of knowledge and their specific expertise.  

Q: Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2022 approaches? 

Cary Bryczek, Jama SoftwareThe gap between the customer and business stakeholders and engineering groups historically has been where the engineering side is a black box. The proliferation of digital engineering strategies is now making the box more transparent. The practice of requirements management as a now collaborative effort across teams enables faster communication between teams and faster validation of requirements – Validation of the RIGHT requirements not to be confused with product validation. Requirements today must traverse many tools in the digital ecosystem. In 2022 more Jama Software customers will integrate requirements with tools in their digital ecosystem enabling higher degrees of collaboration and efficient analysis. 

RELATED POST: Aerospace Compliance – When Failure Is Not An Option

Airborne Predictions 2022 Part 2:  

Vance Hilderman, CTO, AFuzion Inc:  

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”   

Surely, Charles Dickens was the earliest aerospace forecaster when he wrote those famous words decades before the Wright brother’s first flight.  But was Dickens really channeling the Covid pandemic and today’s aerospace unprecedented changes?  Likely not, but the “more things change, the more they remain the same” holds true.  

Every two or three years I’m asked to predict next year’s aerospace news. I always chuckle, then provide a disclaimer, “In one baseball season, Ted Williams failed to get on base almost 60% of the time; that made his season the world’s best.” That’s right: 40% success in baseball, and entrepreneurship, is a winning season. With that disclaimer at heart, here’s my “winning season for 2022” predictions: 

  1. Supply chain issues are not going away soon. The aviation In-sourcing trend occurring BEFORE Covid is now going to accelerate due to added long-distance supplier (read “offshore”) disruptions. Aero companies will bring back development and manufacturing even faster – expect a record pace giving advantage to those with automated processes and tools already under their control.  
  2. Autonomous passenger flight is still a decade away. Sorry – I know that’s not the news you want to hear. Truly great strides have been made and we’re now “40%” of the way there. Safety, airspace management, and certification authority acceptance are all still “in work.” But fear not: if you’re healthy with a 20-year life expectancy remaining, you will see autonomous passenger flights. Absolutely your children will. 
  3. eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff & Landing) aircraft REALLY are coming. If you can’t spell “eVTOL” or “UAM” you’re taking that Covid isolation too far. But 90% of today’s eVTOL players won’t succeed.  Watch for 20-25 of last year’s players to not be in the game at the end of 2022.  Who will succeed? Easy: two groups of eVTOL players will succeed:  1) Those early companies with solid funding already received and actually flying aircraft (even if near-final-prototypes), and 2) Longstanding manufacturers with prior success mass-manufacturing either cars or regular aircraft.    

If you’re not in group #1 or #2, we simply wish you the best and celebrate your optimism. 

  1. Covid forced remote work to be a reality, with great harm to those lacking defined processes and management structures supportive of remote work. In 2022, those aerospace companies with strong planning and remote development capabilities will further distance themselves from competitors. Companies embracing automated (and even semi-automated, but substantially less continuous manual intervention) will see profits and market share increase. Aviation automation tool vendors and aircraft/avionics developers with strong automation culture will be powering the decade ahead, starting in 2022.  
  2.   After a decade of struggles, experts now say Lockheed is in the driver’s seat, passenger seat, and all the other seats when it comes to fighter jets. And for buyers with ample (read “huge”) budgets, the F-35 is an easy choice. But add improved radar, improved stealth, and improved missiles, and the fighter jet itself is a platform, not the end-all. Ask yourself: what kind of computer or device are you using to read this article right now? Does it really matter or is the software and content more relevant?  Exactly.  
  3.   Yesterday’s shortening time-to-market will seem like a joke compared to 2022’s massively intensifying pressures.  New companies, new industries, and even countries new to aviation are all forcing greatly decreased product launch times.  Companies providing tools to assist with efficiency (such as AFuzion’s and Jama Software’s  DO-178C software development frameworks will see greatly increased sales but also even greater competition (details here: https://afuzion.com/plans-checklists/). 
  4. And my final forecast: all the smart people who predicted an end to Covid in 2021 and 2022 (Bill G, are you reading? 😉) will see their predictions to have been as correct as the majority of their prior predictions (really now, “email spam will be eliminated by 2006” –  go Google that one – too much time on private jets with other interests).  Folks, I predict Covid and its variants will be with us for years.  We’ll manage -humans are often frail but adaptable.  We’ll get our collective international acts together and form a more cohesive international Covid travel management policy and most of us will be flying as we were before. Except much less business travel (and more pleasure!)  because all the predictions above (Read #1 through #6) will REDUCE the need for business travel.  

There you have it:  hoping I beat Ted Williams record-breaking 40%+ success rate.  And that means I hope to see you wherever you are someday, but hopefully for pleasure, not just business! 

Thanks for tuning into our 2022 Predictions Series! To see some of the incredible products, software, and systems our customers are building with Jama Connect, visit our CUSTOMER STORIES PAGE 


eVTOL certification
Toys to Tools – Keeping Pace with eVTOL Certification Standards

Today’s market for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) is one of the most innovative and fast-moving in the aerospace industry, so keeping pace with ever-changing eVTOL certification standards is no easy endeavor.

eVTOL Applications

The military led the way in eVTOL by transforming drones designed as toys, into tools used on the battlefield. But the most recognized use case spanning military and commercial application is in passenger transport. Air taxis and helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) is also an area where dozens of companies are currently competing and taking a wide variety of technology approaches.

eVTOL developers are also looking at new ways to provide services to communities. The use of eVTOL aircraft in the utility sector requires relatively low operational complexity and reduces operational costs while bringing the benefits of lower noise levels, zero emissions, and more safety. Nearly any application that is being serviced by a helicopter today is wide open to eVTOL. There are endless applications for utility drones that can offer commercial services in the community, such as land survey, cargo delivery, agricultural seeding, lifting heavy loads, search and rescue, in addition to government use applications such as firefighting, law enforcement, and military operations.

RELATED: Increasing Efficiency in Testing and Confidence in Safety Standard Compliance

eVTOL Certification Challenges

Whether the aircraft is being developed for piloted passenger transport or an unmanned utility application, there are common non-technology challenges that impact both. These challenges include public acceptance, operational challenges, and some in marketing and distribution. One challenging speed bump are the regulatory hurdles. Presently, there are no unified certification standards.
Today a given eVTOL company would need a new certification for each country it operates in. Companies in EMEA are actively working with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) working group to help define generally accepted safety levels. In the US the FAA continues to expand certification requirements to cover innovation in aircraft design. Today’s eVTOL aircraft cross boundaries and are difficult to categorize. Is the aircraft a rotorcraft that would follow FAA Part 27 or is the aircraft a fixed-wing and follow 23?

RELATED: Getting Past Legacy Software Pains in Requirments Management

Managing Changing eVTOL Certification Requirements

As eVTOL certification requirements expand and evolve, this volatility can be an advantage for Jama Software customers. Jama Connect’s application architecture provides capabilities to easily manage complex requirements and V&V data in a manner that makes it more streamlined to provide the necessary development process evidence.

As designs evolve and change or morph into new aircraft variants for expanding community service needs, Jama Connect’s change impact and variant reuse technology make it easy to identify where there are gaps or necessary re-design required. Documenting process adherence becomes automated and the generation of reports for EASA or the FAA takes just the click of a button. Complex supply chain communication and data exchange (long the turf of outdated tools or manual documents), is replaced by easy-to-use, web-based mechanisms that can plug into the digital engineering ecosystems used by innovative organizations.

Jama Connect, being first and foremost a requirements management tool, is built with what we call our secret sauce – live traceability. Live traceability creates a digital thread by connecting requirements, to architectures, to tests, and aircraft functions throughout the eVTOL design and development lifecycle. It is real-time query-able and maintains a full audit trail of all changes which can be easily reported on for demonstration of process evidence purposes. With Jama Connect, eVOTL engineers and also supply chain stakeholders can reap the benefits of the digital thread with built-in collaboration and robust data exchange.

Likewise, the risks of using spreadsheets — like user error and fatigue — for eVTOL certification are eliminated, and efficiency increases as teams can focus on their central duties. Live traceability also fosters team collaboration and enables earliest detection of possible production risks.

We’ve curated a few additional resources that you might find helpful- take a look!

Digital Transformation

This post is Part I of our two-part series on digital transformation.

The future of Earth might depend on space. Governments from countries around the world and private space companies funded by billionaires are designing new space technologies that push the envelope of technology and complexity. Systems built to operate in the space environment must also be ready for quite a lot of hazards. Here on Earth, we don’t have to worry about operating in a vacuum; getting hit by space debris and micro-sized meteoroids; radiation from the sun and the universe itself; charged particles; or variances in gravity.  

Gone are the days where you have a decade or more to design and develop a new system. With changing global economies, dramatically evolving political landscapes, and shrinking pools of money, waste needs to be eliminated from development. Digital engineering strategies are aiming to eliminate wasteful stovepipes in information and communication centered around not just the product development lifecycle but even the acquisition lifecycle. For deployed space systems in many cases, you only get one shot at getting it right.  

Digital engineering is an integrated approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities from concept through disposal. In the simplest of terms, it is the act of creating, capturing, and integrating data using models and innovative technology in an orchestrated manner in order to unlock greater value and provide positive impacts on cost and schedule. This integrated approach means that the data from the digital models such as CAD models, electrical circuit models, system models, and software models as well as the domain discipline processes are orchestrated tightly. Hardware, systems, and software engineers are now working much more closely to design and develop systems. 

At NASA it is believed that “Digital transformation leads to more informed decisions, increased operational efficiency, and streamlined processes.” Digital transformation is not just converting paper records into digital format. It is not about making Word and PDF documents available to more people. Digital transformation is about transforming how you communicate and collaborate with not only your co-workers but also with your customer and suppliers. It is the reinvention of the way processes themselves are performed; it’s not just a change in IT.  

New digital engineering tool ecosystems must be flexible and agile enough to be used by broad, cross-functional teams as well as be responsive to technology changes. One key ingredient for digital engineering success is to make use of models. In the systems engineering community MBSE is seen as the state-of-the-art technique. Requirements management however, which is a pillar of systems engineering, extends beyond the systems model. Highly abstract requirements such as stakeholder expectations, mission goals, and concepts of operations as well as design requirements at the element, subsystem, and component level benefit from a model-based approach. 

Using Jama Connect for Requirements MBSE 

Jama Connect’s unique user interface allows non-technical stakeholders to visualize a model of the system of interest and interact with the requirements in familiar views like documents and spreadsheets. Using Jama Connect in the application of MBSE to create models is supported by a series of pre-defined views and its underlying relationship ontology which enforces the rigor and consistency demanded by the framework. It can also be used in alongside dedicated SysML tools to act as the dedicated requirements system since data organization in Jama Connect is compatible with SysML tools. This makes it attractive to organizations that do not have enough trained staff or licenses to use dedicated SysML graphical modeling tools. 

The Human Element of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is not just about learning to use new tools and incorporation of models but is also about changing to a new company culture and mindset. It becomes necessary for stakeholders and engineers across all disciplines to develop new skills in both systems thinking and real time collaboration. Jama Connect has built-in technology that facilitates better cooperation and communication. It helps eliminate communication silos and becomes a bridge between the requirements data and common communication systems like email. Emails transform to in-app discussions, @mentions, and actions. Requirements reviews in Jama transform into virtual review of data rather than production of documents with iterative reviews of endless redlines. Reviews streamline the feedback sharing process. This reduces the rounds of revision by letting teams give clear feedback on requirements. They don’t need to spend hours figuring out the changes suggested and what needs to be worked upon. 

Parting Words 

The complexity of space systems and the global race to ensure the future of Earth needs the benefits that transformation to digital engineering brings. Doing this successfully enables you to simplify complex development cycles, bridge collaboration gaps, build quality products, get to space faster, and build safe and successful systems. 

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Airborne Systems helps teams to improve their ability to communicate, track, and test requirements for teams in the aerospace industry, download our solution overview. 


Aerospace ComplianceEnsuring Aerospace Compliance to Regulatory Requirements 

We are in a time of unyielding technological development. It is not unlike the “giant leaps” made by the US Space program in the 1960s. The technology available to us in our everyday lives and certainly in the Aerospace and Defense industry is staggering 

Think about when you got your first cell phone. Remember those famous Motorola flip phones?

That was only 20 years ago. As I write this, I’m listening to digital music on my Galaxy Note through Bluetooth headphones typing on a touchscreen laptop that weighs like two lbs. Conversely, the Apollo program had less computing power than my 1993 vintage engineering calculator and the space shuttle had 1MB RAM while my Galaxy Note has 128GB plus the SD card. And this is close to obsolete, at all of two years old. We take things for granted: Alexa, smart cars, 4G data. But the technological development behind them is non-stop.  

I should introduce myself. My name is David Ewing. I recently joined Jama Software as Principal Solution Architect for A&D. My background is in Enterprise PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) both on the industry and the software supplier side. Most recently at Aras I spent time as a Product Manager, Product Marketing Manager, and Technical Account Manager for A&D.  

Aerospace Compliance Can Require a Significant Effort

Developing new technology and innovative products in a heavily regulated industry like aerospace entails a significant amount of effort spent ensuring that requirements are understood and verified. Requirements from the customer typically relate to features, performance, costetc. As an example, let’s use airline seats – because we can all relate to them. When an airline orders seats for their shiny new fleet of aircraft they are specifying things like weight, inflight entertainment, cushions & covers, and recline geometry. They are interested in the environment for the passenger, the cost per mile, etc. They arabsolutely concerned about safety. However, the base safety requirements come from the regulatory body – FAA or EASA (European Union Safety Agency).     

A crash test dummy before its accelerated down the track. Photo by Christine Negroni

Conversely, the FAA is concerned with airworthiness and compliance to a boatload of regulatory requirementsThings like the spacing from the cabin walls is specified as is the aisle width to support egress and passage of the elbow biting beverage cart (that’s why your seats are narrow!)The FAA does not care about the fancy TV monitor, they care what happens when your head hits it during a tarmac accidentThey don’t care about the luxurious leather and fabric designs; they care about the flame spread and amount of toxic smoke that they release should something bad happenEvery piece of nonmetallic material in an aircraft seat is tested for flammability and toxicityMost importantly, the FAA cares about crash worthiness should something unexpected happenAll aircraft seats are put through a number of simulated crash tests to make sure those seats stay attached to the airframe, the food trays stay stowed, and you can get to the floatation devicesThis is also the fun part – Engineers love to break things 

Keeping track of all this information is no small task. The number of Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)Advisory Circulars (AC), Technical Standard Orders (TSO) is a mountain of information in its own rightAnd we are not even talking about a flight critical system like the avionics.  Furthermore, we haven’t even added the customer requirements yet. 

Managing Requirements for Certification

Existing aerospace firms have entire certification departments to support the regulatory requirements and program managers to handle the customer side of things. The amount of Non-Value Added (NVA) work that is applied to managing requirements and certification is staggering. Engineers that are hired to help to perform the actual certification testing spend a significant amount of their time acting as a librarian 

If managing requirements and validation is so hard, how is a new startup supposed to deliver innovative new products? Or how can the existing aerospace firm reduce NVA work to speed time to market and reduce costs? With a solution created for the airborne systems developerthat’s how! Enter Jama Connect for Airborne Systems 

Jama for Aerospace Compliance

We have created an industry focused solution for airborne system developerIt is the hot fudge sundae with sprinkles and cherry on top to legacy tools vanilla requirements managementJama Connect for Airborne Solution is pre-configured with item types, pick lists, relationships, project & import/export templates. All these features are directly aligned with regulatory guidelines like ARP4754 and DO178 

Developing Hardware and Software in Sync

We know airborne systems require extremely rigorous integrated development assurance processes. System architecture, hardware, and software must be developed together, in concert, and then validated against the certification requirementsTo demonstrate compliance with airworthiness requirements, certification agencies accept the use of the noted industry guidelinesBy embedding them into the Jama Connect for Airborne Systems solution we operationalize the processes and free you from the overhead of creating and managing the digital infrastructure  so you can focus on innovation.   

Your hire talented engineers to develop innovative new products – not be a librarian for documents and standardsWith Jama Connect for Airborne systems we free your team to innovate – we will take care of the record keeping! 

If you are interested to learn more about the Jama Connect for Airborne Systems Solution, I’ll be hosting webinar tomorrow, April 14. We will give an overview of the solution and a demonstration.  Additionally, we have information you can read at your leisure on our website. Or if you want to chat, reach out to me directly – [email protected]. I am always happy to talk shop 

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Airborne Systems helps teams to improve their ability to communicate, track, and test requirements for teams in the aerospace industry, download our solution overview. 


Editors Note: 2020 was a year we’ll never forget. But amidst a sea of setbacks, companies across the globe continue to rise to the challenge and push forward with innovative product development. Teams who have the right tools and processes in place especially across distributed teams are able to improve collaboration and speed the time it takes to deliver new, innovative products.

In our spotlight series, we highlight companies who are doing extraordinary things in the product development space, and showcase the ways that their innovations are changing the world as we know it. In this post, we applaud Boeing for their work in providing augmented power supply to enhance the International Space Station’s health and enable more research.

This post originally appeared on Boeing’s website on January 11, 2021, and can be found here. 

Boeing will support the International Space Station’s (ISS) growing research capabilities and commercial opportunities with new solar arrays to increase the orbiting laboratory’s power supply. The modification to Boeing’s ISS sustainment contract with NASA calls for Boeing to deliver six additional solar arrays to NASA for installation beginning in 2021.

The new 63-foot-by-20-foot (19-meter-by-6-meter) arrays will together produce more than 120 kilowatts of electricity from the sun’s energy, enough to power more than 40 average U.S. homes. Combined with the eight original, larger arrays, this advanced hardware will provide a 20 to 30 percent increase in power, helping to maximize the station’s capabilities for years to come. The arrays will provide ISS with electricity to sustain its systems and equipment, plus augment the electricity available to continue a wide variety of public and private experiments and research in the station’s unique microgravity environment.

RELATED: Learn More About the Jama Connect for Airborne Systems – Getting Started Edition

“When it comes to game-changing research and technological development, the space station is currently hitting its full stride,” said John Mulholland, ISS vice president and program manager for Boeing. “These arrays, along with other recent upgrades to the station’s power system and data-transfer speed, will ensure that ISS remains an incubator and business model in the commercial space ecosystem for the coming decades. Access to this unique lab will continue to pay off as researchers study the challenges of future deep-space exploration and make discoveries that improve life on Earth.”

Most of the ISS systems, including its communications systems, batteries and scientific equipment racks, have been upgraded since humans began a continuous presence on the orbiting laboratory in November 2000. Two International Docking Adapters, manufactured by Boeing, have been attached to the ISS to allow commercial spacecraft to dock autonomously to the station. Boeing is the prime contractor for ISS sustainment; the company’s studies have determined that the ISS could safely operate beyond 2030 if NASA and its international partners choose to do so.

Deployable Space Systems of Santa Barbara, California, will produce the structure of the new arrays, including the canister and frame that will unfurl to hold the solar-array blankets in place. Deployable Space Systems also built the canister, frame and solar array blanket for a prototype of the new arrays that was successfully tested aboard the ISS in June 2017.

Spectrolab, a Boeing company based in Sylmar, California, produces the arrays’ XTJ Prime solar cells, which will be some of the most powerful ever launched into space. They are the same solar cells that power Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in flight and while docked to the ISS. Spectrolab also produced the station’s original solar cells, as well as the solar cells tested on the prototype.

“The XTJ Prime space solar cells are much more efficient than any of their predecessors and are fit to support the cutting-edge research being done aboard the International Space Station,” said Tony Mueller, president of Spectrolab.

Stay tuned as we continue to highlight these innovative companies. In the meantime, see how Jama Connect helps realign remote teams for remote work with minimal disruption.


Airborne Systems

Airborne Product and Systems Development

2020 has been a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled” – as well as other descriptors probably best left out of our blog. As we close out this year, it’s hard to say what awaits us in the new one. One thing that we can be sure of is that innovation in medicine, science, and technology shows no sign of slowing down.

As we enter a new year of technological advancements, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond.

In Part II of our four-part series, we ask Cary Bryczek, Director of Solutions Architecture at Jama Software, to weigh in on trends she sees in the airborne systems industry (known to some as aerospace and defense) for 2021.

Note: Now that our 2021 Predictions Series is complete, you can also go back and read, Part I, Part III, and Part IV

What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2021? 
Cary Bryczek:

Urban air mobility and air taxis will not increase as companies are halting their development due to sagging market for personal transportation. Instead we are seeing an uptick in electric propulsion engines since the market continues to expand for unmanned systems in cargo shipping, agricultural application, and all-electric aircraft interest. Rolls Royce, Eviation, and even NASA are leading the way.

In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change? 
Cary Bryczek:

Products will continue to include more and more software in the next decade but software and hardware development tools will still remain loosely federated from each other.

How do you foresee regulations shifting in the aerospace and defense industry over the next decade?  
Cary Bryczek:

Contracts on the defense and space side will be morphing to allow for more Agile/iterative styles of both contract response as well as design and development of systems. Contractors will be considered more closely to be a partner than the stereotype of a contractor. Contractors who are prepared with tooling that supports a more integrated digital ecosystem and collaborative environment will be better equipped for success.

RELATED: Jama Connect in the Digital Engineering Ecosystem

Any major disruptions to the aerospace and defense industry you’re anticipating in 2021? 
Cary Bryczek:

COVID-19 will continue to wreak havoc across this segment. Companies that are developing systems that are attractive to the commercial consumer will be finding new avenues to support their business.

What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2021? 
Cary Bryczek:

Teams will need to commit to broader cyber security processes and development controls to prevent exposure of both personal data and intellectual property. As more workers are working from home, the risk exposure is significantly greater. There will be more permissions controls around requirements data, verification results, and design data. The processes used to produce the design data whether that is generated by an DevSecOps process or hardware waterfall design will have added layers of process review.

What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not? 
Cary Bryczek:

Companies will need to be able to retain engineering talent and be able to future proof the products and systems they design; those that do will be more likely to succeed. These companies will be offering more professional education and access to the latest tools and technologies as an incentive to retain the talent. Companies that bring in talent from adjacent market segments will be the big winners.

Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2021 approaches? 
Cary Bryczek:

Work is now almost being performed by a 100% remote workforce in the commercial world. The defense and space world will feel the pressure from workers to utilize tools in the workplace that are now a commodity at home. As companies continue their journey to create digital ecosystems, Jama Connect will become connected with more tools in that ecosystem.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional 2021 predictions! In the meantime, to see more information specific to the airborne systems industry, we’ve compiled a handy list of valuable resources for you!



Today we are excited to announce the availability of Jama Connect for Airborne Systems, a solution designed to help systems engineering teams reduce barriers to the compliance process for their aircraft and aviation systems development process.  

Jama Connect for Airborne Systems lets customers seamlessly manage requirements, risks, and tests in one powerful platform while supporting mission and safety-critical standards.  The solution is built with the digital engineering ecosystem in mind, empowering engineering teams to better manage requirements, while simplifying regulatory alignment for civil aircraft system development, including ARP4754/ED-79.  

RELATED: Learn More About the Jama Connect for Airborne Systems – Getting Started Edition

The aerospace and aviation industry is experiencing innovative changes not seen for decades, where rapidly evolving technology has driven companies to develop disruptive products. The first commercial greater than 50-seat hybrid-electric aircraft is expected to make a fare-paying flight by 20321 and the FAA estimates over 545,000 commercial drones to be in use by 2021.2 Innovation brings increased complexity in the design process, including the connected networks that handle autonomous flight systems and unmanned, autonomous aircraft. The industry currently relies heavily on paper documents to track requirements— which simply can’t be depended upon in a digitized world with predominantly autonomous aircraft.   

The Chosen Solution for Leading Aircraft Companies

As the chosen requirements management platform for five of the leading global electric aircraft companies driving innovation, Jama Software recognizes and answers these challenges. The company has worked closely with its partners to provide an all-in-one solution to address and overcome these challenges with ease. Jama Connect for Airborne Systems helps engineering teams get set up quickly, allowing them to focus on product design and innovation, while reducing the costs and effort required to align their development processes to meet mission and safety-critical standards. 

Aerospace systems engineering teams have a tough job: they are tasked with developing innovative, mission-critical systems at an accelerated pace and with unwavering quality standards,” said Keith Johnson, Chief Solution Officer at Jama Software. “Our new solution, designed specifically for these teams, will help facilitate the development process from start to finish. Jama Connect allows developers to hit the ground running with a purpose-built, out-of-the-box framework and bestpractices guides that save critical time in the engineering process.” 

Key features of Jama Connect for Airborne Systems

  • Frameworks aligned with key industry standards and regulations: ARP4754/ED-79, DO-178C/ED-12C, and DO-254/ED-80 and SEBoK 
  • Best practices, including procedure and configuration guides for aircraft and aviation systems development 
  • Export templates and reports, including requirements specifications  
  • Supply chain collaboration to enable an ongoing exchange of requirements between customers and suppliers 
  • Training and documentation aligned to aircraft and aviation systems regulations, which provides accelerated onboarding to set systems engineers up quickly 

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Airborne Systems helps teams to improve their ability to communicate, track, and test requirements for teams in the aerospace industry, download our solution overview.