GUIDANCE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF FIELD LOADABLE SOFTWARE
|Publication Date:||6 July 2017|
This document provides guidance to users of ACS for the development of methods to control and manage ACS. Ideals contained within this document were developed from past experiences and future expectations based on the business situations and maintenance actions of contributing aircraft manufacturers, airlines, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), vendors, and software suppliers.
This document defines Aircraft Support Data (ASD) in Section 2.0. ARINC 667 does not define management processes for ASD. Guidance for management of ASD is contained in ARINC Report 675: Guidance for the Management of Aircraft Support Data Management.
As aircraft and their components become more reliant upon software to operate, it is imperative that actions must be taken to maintain control and management of aircraft software. Different OEM installations, multiple vendor/supplier interfacing units, and varying operator requirements for data upload and retrieval have proven to be difficult integrations of the in-field software control. It is the clear intention of this document to provide a means to encourage good software configuration control and management practices.
Purpose and Goal
The purpose of ARINC 667 is to provide guidance for the in-service management of Aircraft Controlled Software, which is also called Field Loadable Software (FLS) or Loadable Software Parts. All of these terms are considered equivalent. The following is the evolution of these loadable software terms:
First, the term Field Loadable Software (FLS) implied all aircraft software that is loadable on the aircraft or in the shop. It focused on loadable characteristic of the software.
Second, the term Loadable Software Part (LSP) also implies all aircraft software that is loadable on the aircraft or in the shop. However, it focuses on describing the software being an aircraft part and secondarily on the fact that it is loadable.
Currently, a more precise term is Aircraft Controlled Software (ACS), which describes how aircraft software is controlled regardless of how the software is loaded.
ARINC Report 667 generally uses the term ACS to describe the software in the scope of this document. The term FLS is used sparingly.
Modern airplanes contain two distinct types of software: Aircraft Controlled Software (ACS) and Hardware Controlled Software (HCS). ACS are independent airplane parts that must be managed separately from the hardware. The management of HCS is not discussed in the document since existing hardware management processes can be applied to HCS. Further definition of airborne software types is contained in Section 2.0. Refer to ARINC Report 849: Data Loading Specifications for Aircraft Components for more information about HCS.
This document is intended to be broad and apply to all Aircraft Controlled Software (ACS). The key features of Aircraft Controlled Software are as follows:
a. Usually capable of software loading on-aircraft and off aircraft.
b. Software part number is electronically verifiable on-aircraft.
c. Modification does not change target hardware part number.
d. The software has its own unique identification/part number.
e. The software part may be a type-certified aircraft part.
f. The software may be an application.
g. The software may be a database.