Aerospace industry veterans have partnered to launch a new online, on-demand DO-254 and DO-178B/C training platform, Avionics Certification Academy. Intelligent Aerospace editors discuss the high-tech training portal with Tammy Reeve and Michelle Lange, aviation industry leaders with more than 50 years of combined experience with electronics hardware and software for aviation and aerospace applications, including engineering.
More specifically, Tammy Reeve is president of Patmos Engineering Services Inc. and boasts 15 years as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Engineering Representative (DER) and trainer for DO-254 and DO-178B/C programs. She also spent 10 years as an avionics engineer for both software and hardware programs. Michelle Lange, president of ALTech Marketing, possesses 26 years’ experience in electronics, including sales, marketing, and training. She has spent the past eight years focused on tools, services, and intellectual property (IP) in support of DO-254 compliance.
DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware is a document providing guidance for the development of airborne electronic hardware, published by RTCA, Incorporated.
DO-178B/C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certificationis a guideline for safety-critical software used in airborne systems and is considered the de facto standard for developing avionics software systems. The FAA applies DO-178B/C to determine if the software will perform reliably in an airborne environment.
What are you announcing?
Tammy Reeve and I have partnered to bring to the avionics industry a first of its kind online training academy for DO-254, DO-178C, and other related guidance. We call it the Avionics Certification Academy (http://www.avionics-certification-academy.com).
Why is this unique?
It’s unique on two levels. First, while there are quite a few training classes out there, the vast majority are live, onsite, customized, or public training sessions. The onsite classes can be very good, especially when whole teams need to ramp up at once. Public training sessions are great if they are conveniently located or if you can get budget to travel, but they are also quite expensive. To date, no one has offered a truly online, on-demand, do-it-on-your-own-schedule, high-quality, low-cost training.
Second, this training is brought to you by two female engineers. Women engineers, especially in the domain of avionics (in the U.S., at least), are still unfortunately a bit of an anomaly. So to have two women in this field come together and put together something new and valuable like this…well, it’s just unique.
What can students expect to learn?
Currently, we have a DO-254 training series with eight to 12 hours of “DO-254 Basics” and another eight to 12 hours of “DO-254 Special Topics.” Each class has a series of modules. Each module minimally includes a video recorded lecture, student exercises, and a quiz.
By taking this series, the student will gain a good understanding of the regulatory environment, the document itself, the complementary and/or compulsory additional materials that form the basis of compliance, how to apply the DO-254 life cycle to a typical FPGA development process, and how to deal with the myriad of special topics (e.g., simple vs. complex, COTS IP, single event effects, tool qualification, etc.) that most people find so confusing. Basically, the student who takes this course will have a very good foundation from which they can begin working.
What is your target audience?
We are really targeting anyone who wants to ramp up on DO-254 (or DO-178C, ARP 4754A…). The ideal student is one who can’t get to public training, and whose company won’t spring for an onsite course (or at least not yet). Perhaps the person is joining a team late and everyone else is already trained.
Some folks learn best at their own pace. Some may need to review materials repeatedly to learn. This might be true especially of non-native English speakers. So this format is ideal for that type of individual.
Also, the course would be great for anyone in engineering school, especially if they want to go into avionics design, because it can really help them improve their resume and, thus, their chances of getting a good job.
How can students gain access?
They just need to go to www.avionics-certification-academy.com, where students can enroll in the academy and preview the first module of the “DO-254 Basics” training for free before deciding if this training is right for them. If they do so, they’ll also get a free gift from us – even if they end up not taking the class. (We’re not telling what it is. You have to go see for yourself.) If they like what they see and want enroll in an actual course, it’s as easy as paying with a credit card or PayPal and they can start their selected course immediately.
What’s next for the Academy?
We have a DO-178C training series that’s almost ready to launch as well, and just after that we’ll have a Certification Overview class that includes an Overview of ARP 4754A. We also have a list of other modules we’ll be adding over the next few months that will address specialty topics/issues/concerns of compliance. We are also talking about including some other instructors in the mix, so we could have a very rich offering very quickly. So it will a very dynamic and fast growing academy!
What engineers are saying:
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