Bell Helicopter engineers designed, implemented, and verified the control laws for the Bell 525 fly-by-wire system using Model-Based Design.
Working in Simulink® and Stateflow®, the Flying Qualities Engineers developed a control law model based on 900 high-level system requirements defined in IBM® Rational® DOORS®. The model was partitioned into modules that included pitch, roll, and yaw axes, as well as a logic and mode switching module developed with Stateflow.
They developed a set of test cases and ran simulations in Simulink to verify logic and functionality.
Using Simulink Requirements™, the engineers linked the requirement definitions in DOORS with the Simulink and Stateflow objects they had used to model the requirements. This traceability enabled the team to perform an impact analysis to identify areas of the Simulink model that would be affected if requirements were updated later in the project.
They also used Simulink Check™ and Simulink Coverage™ to check the modules for compliance with Bell Helicopter modeling standards for DO-178 and to measure model coverage for the test cases. While the coverage analysis is not required for certification credit, it plays a part in the certification process because it helps the team trace low-level tests to high-level requirements.
The team used Simulink Report Generator™ to generate design and requirements tracing reports that can be used for guidance during the review process required for certification.
The engineers generated about 16,000 lines of C code from their Simulink control law model using Embedded Coder®.
By using Simulink Code Inspector™ and qualifying it with DO Qualification Kit, the team ran automated comparisons of the generated code and the control law model to check for unsupported blocks, verify traceability, and satisfy DO-178B code-review objectives.
After code review, the code was compiled and tested using the same test cases as the Simulink model. The software team then integrated the control law code with the other flight control code in preparation for “live” system testing.
The Bell 525 Relentless had a successful first flight and the helicopter is undergoing flight test development to its full speed, weight, and altitude capability. Bell Helicopter is expanding its use of Model-Based Design to future DO-178C projects.