DO-178C guidance is designed to ensure that clear best practices are defined and followed by avionics system developers. DO-178C guidance also prescribes specific software testing measures that are dependent on the criticality of the system in question.
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Adhering to DO-178C guidance, both in terms of development methodologies and testing requirements can be complicated and lots of potential pitfalls exist along the path.
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DAL levels were originally introduced in DO-178B and continue to be used in DO-178C. Design Assurance Level categorization determines the amount of rigor required by the design assurance process. DAL categorization is determined by the impact that the specific system's failure could have in terms of Aircraft Safety. The more critical the DAL, the more activities and objectives are required.
*The final DAL is DAL E, which confers no failure rate condition or objectives.