What is involved with witnessing an aerospace software build?




I'm relatively new to this forum and I'm hoping that you might be able to help. The topic of witnessing an aerospace software build (a "black-label" build) for a DAL-E software project has come up in my organization and I'd like a better understanding of what this entails, and to poll what you're doing in your own organizations.

1. For DAL-E, is "witnessing" required or optional? At what level does it become mandatory? DO-178C defines Monitoring as "The act of witnessing or inspecting selected instances of test, inspection, or other activity, or records of those activities, to assure that the activity is under control and that the reported results are representative of the expected results." DO-178C also says in a note in section 8.2 that "monitoring of the activities of software life cycle processes may be performed to provide assurance that the activities are under control." The use of the word "may" seems to imply that this is optional.

2. What is involved with "witnessing"? Does it mean to sit through the actual build process to observe and record what happens, or is it an audit of the process used to ensure that the actual build complies with that process and that all required artifacts were produced?

Thank you,
Omar D'Angelo


Re: What's involved with witnessing an aerospace software build?

Good Morning, not sure about aerospace software, but in witnessing, it is exactly as your definition of Monitoring describes and as your #2 questions asks. We have witnessing going on weekly, if not daily in out testing of Blow Out Preventors, and the customer, sometimes the end user and employees of registrars, DNV, BV, Lloyds on site reviewing the testing procedures, internal procedures, requirements for the product, documents produced, test charts recorded and any other record from the process. They do exactly as you have stated. The watch, check, review and document the results, with all parties getting a copy.

The witnessing could come about due to product requirements, customer requirements, end user requirements, company requirements, and in some cases, notification of the required witness hold inspection point can required days to weeks (example 3 days notice to 21 days notice). If witness does not reply, depending on the requirements the testing can continue.

Hope you get a response from someone in your industry, but in our industry, this is the way it happens.

Hope this helps in some way.


Re: What's involved with witnessing an aerospace software build?

Yes, it does help. Any corroboration of my own thoughts helps me to gain confidence. :)

Thank you
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