For numerous defense and aerospace systems, incorporating cost-effective, ruggedized commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware is the ideal way to save development time and money. However, many newer programs are adopting commercial certification requirements. This evolution in requirements means that using safety-certifiable COTS hardware is often the only way for system integrators to achieve overall system certification in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Using safety-certifiable COTS airborne electronics hardware (AEH) lets system integrators jump-start development efforts for avionics systems. Instead of taking on the risks, time, costs, and headaches associated with developing, documenting, and certifying hardware components themselves, integrators have ready-to-use building blocks that offer a clear path to certification.
As system integrators evaluate the different options available to them, it is important to understand exactly what they should expect from vendors of standard COTS hardware and how vendors of safety-certifiable COTS hardware build on and extend those capabilities.