Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP): Definition, Compliance, Tools, and Certifications

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Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP): Definition, Compliance, Tools, and Certifications

Aircraft development is a complex process that requires adherence to specific guidelines and standards. One such document that outlines the requirements for aircraft development is ARP 4754A, also known as “Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems.” This Aerospace Recommended Practice was developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and recognized by the FAA in AC 20-174. In this blog post, we will discuss what ARP 4754A covers, how it can be used to comply with FAA regulations, and some common certification tools and techniques.

What is Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP)?

Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) documents are developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and provide guidance on best practices for various aspects of aircraft development, operation, and maintenance. ARP 475A, “Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems,” is one such document that addresses the development processes of aircraft and their systems. The initial version (ARP 4745) was published in November 1996 and Revision A was released in December 2010. The FAA recognized the document as an acceptable means of compliance with AC 20-174, published in November 2011.

How can ARP be used to comply with FAA regulations?

One way ARP can be used to comply with FAA regulations is through DO-254 certification. DO-254 is a document that outlines the requirements for the design and development of airborne electronic hardware. ARP4745A can be used to comply with DO-254 by providing guidance on how to develop civil aircraft and systems.

What are some Common Certification Techniques?

Some common certification techniques include:

  • ARP475A compliance matrices
  • ARP475A process flow diagrams
  • ARP475A development timelines

When it comes to developing an aircraft, there are a lot of moving parts and pieces that need to come together in order to create a safe and functional final product. ARP475A provides guidance on how to develop civil aircraft and systems in a way that complies with FAA regulations. Several different tools and techniques can be used in order to ensure compliance with ARP 475A, such as creating ARP475A compliance matrices, process flow diagrams, and development timelines.

ARP Vs DO-178B/C & DO-254

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Working Group called S-18 developed ARP 4754A, which is referred to as SAE ARP 4754A. While documents produced by the RTCA start with “DO” (for document), Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP) documents start with this prefix. However, the RTCA and SAE differ in more ways than just document names. The style and philosophy of their papers differ as well. More information and examples are included in the SAE ARP documents than in the RTCA style papers. They are commonly regarded as simpler to read and understand.

ARP475A is not the only standard that can be used for developing aircraft. Another popular standard is DO-178B/C, which was developed by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA). DO-178B/C is similar to ARP475A in that it provides guidance on how to develop safe and functional aircraft. However, there are some key differences between the two standards. For example, DO-178B/C is focused on software development while ARP475A covers both software and hardware development. Additionally, ARP475A is a recommended practice while DO-178B/C is a regulatory requirement.

DO-254 is another standard that is often used in aircraft development. DO-254 is a document that outlines the requirements for the design and development of airborne electronic hardware. ARP4745A can be used to comply with DO-254 by guiding how to develop civil aircraft and systems.

The DO-254 and DO-178C standards are often cited in conjunction with the ARP 4754A standard, which relates to both. The ARP 4754A standard relates to both defining an aircraft and its systems and flowing down the information that is vital for these lower levels of design. The system requirements process of the ARP 4754A system requirements feeding item demands back into hardware and software processes (ARP 4754A) as well as safety (ARP 4761A).

What is ARP 4761?

ARP4761A, “Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft Safety Assessment Processes” is the ARP that provides guidance to the industry on developing safety assessment processes for civil aircraft. ARP4761A was released in December 2010 and the FAA recognized it as an acceptable means of compliance with AC 20-173, published in November 2011. ARP4761A applies to all phases of the civil aircraft development process from concept through operational service. ARP4761A is organized around a set of principles that provide a framework for thinking about and conducting safety assessments throughout the lifecycle of a civil aircraft program.

In order to ensure compliance with ARP476A, several different tools and techniques can be used, such as creating ARP476A compliance matrices, process flow diagrams, and development timelines.

ARP4754 Vs ARP4761

ARP475A and ARP4761A are both ARP documents that provide guidance on developing civil aircraft. However, there are some key differences between the two standards. ARP475A focuses on both software and hardware development while ARP4761A is focused on safety assessment processes. Additionally, ARP475A is a recommended practice while ARP4761A is a regulatory requirement.

  • ARP4754: Guidelines for Development of Civil Aircraft and Systems
  • ARP4761: Guidelines and Methods for Conducting the Safety Assessment Process on Civil Airborne Systems and Equipment.

“ARP4754 is a ‘what to do’ manual, while ARP4761 offers the steps you must take to accomplish it. It was the integration of these two suggested procedures that led us to our current process, methods, and tools for claiming that yes, today’s aircraft are safe because they were built using these processes and techniques.” said Eric Peterson, an FAA aerospace safety engineer and committee member of S-18.

When it comes to aircraft development, complying with ARP475A and ARP4761A is essential in order to create safe and functional aircraft. By understanding the differences between the two standards and utilizing the tools available, you can help ensure compliance and a successful aircraft development project.

Integral Processes

The Integral Processes are:

  • Safety Assessment – This process is linked to ARP 4761(A), which performs safety analyses of aircraft and systems (initial and final) as well as functional hazard evaluations, common cause investigations, and so on.
  • Development Assurance Level Assignment – The FHA and PASA levels result in the assignment of Function DALs, which are then validated by the aircraft and system-level safety assessment. Item DALs emerge from an analysis of an item’s function in a risk-mitigation context.
  • Requirements Capture – The team records the aircraft/system specifications.
  • Requirements Validation – The team verifies the criteria to ensure they are appropriate for the system.
  • Configuration Management – This process ensures proper control and replication of the data.
  • Process Assurance – The Process Assurance representative keeps an eye on the team to verify that it follows the aircraft/system plans and documents any departures.
  • Certification & Regulatory Authority Coordination – To ensure compliance, the certification authority and regulatory authority examine plans, procedures, and artifacts on a regular basis.

ARP 4754A uniquely identifies data and documentation flowing out of these processes.

Visure Requirements ALM Platform

The ARP processes are essential for developing civil aircraft. In order to ensure compliance with ARP476A, the Visure Requirements ALM platform can be used. The platform helps manage, trace and visualize requirements throughout the development process. Additionally, the platform can generate ARP476A compliance matrices, process flow diagrams, and development timelines. Understanding and utilizing these tools can help ensure that your aircraft development project is successful.

Visure Requirements is the leading requirements management tool on the market that offers full support for ARP475A and ARP4761A. The tool helps manage, trace and visualize requirements throughout the development process. Additionally, the platform can generate ARP475A compliance matrices, process flow diagrams, and development timelines.

Conclusion:

Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) is a set of guidelines that helps organizations develop and maintain software applications for airborne systems. It has been replaced in many cases by DO-178B/C & DO-254, which are more specific and rigorous. However, ARP remains an important compliance standard for many organizations. Visure Requirements ALM Platform can help you meet the requirements of ARP and other compliance standards like DO-178B/C & DO-254. Request a free 30-day trial at Visure Requirements ALM Platform to see how our platform can help your organization meet its compliance obligations.

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