Performance Software has expanded into the Medical Device market

PSW developed and tested software for several FMS features on the Airbus family of aircraft, including the A320, A340, and A380

Software developed by PSW can be found on several Gulfstream Jets, including the G350, 450, 550, and G650, in addition to the IV and V models

As a key contributor to the Boeing 787, PSW developed, tested and integrated large portions of the Common Core System, Flight Controls, Flight Management Systems and Power Distribution software

Performance Software is currently developing the next generation in landing gear software

PSW has contributed to a variety of helicopter systems on such platforms as the AW149, the CH47 Chinook, and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

Performance Software is a leader in Smart Grid applications for energy substation programs

KC-10 air-to-air fueling tankers were upgraded with digital cockpits and satellite communications with the help of Performance Software

The C-5 Galaxy strategic airlifter features several functional upgrades as designed, developed, and tested by PSW, including a graphical simulation environment, user interface, and condition engine


    PSW is a leader in Embedded Flight Management Systems (FMS) Software Development and Support for both highly regulated avionics platforms governed by the standards outlined in RTCA/DO-178B Software Considerations in Airborne Systems, and their supporting simulation environments. PSW has been integrally involved with several large-scale, embedded FMS development efforts and supported full-lifecycle software development starting with Systems-level requirements through Formal Verification and Certification Support. Simulation capabilities include full development of HMI-based system emulators and functional validation tool sets.

    Program Experience

    PSW has developed a solid FMS knowledge base while supporting many FMS programs working with various customers. We have successfully managed our resources to satisfy critical customer milestones on several full software life cycle development efforts that focused on the diverse product lines across the Air Transport and Business and Commuter Aviation markets. The following identifies the Air Transport platforms supported:

    • Airbus A380
    • Airbus A340
    • Airbus A320
    • Airbus A300
    • Boeing B787
    • Boeing B777
    • Boeing B757/767
    • Boeing B747-8
    • Boeing B747
    • Boeing MD-90
    • Boeing MD-80
    • Boeing MD-11

    The Business and Commuter Aviation Primus EPIC platforms include the following:

    • Augusta AB139
    • Cessna CITSOV
    • Dassault Falcon F900EX
    • Dassault Falcon F2000EX
    • Embraer ERJ170
    • Gulfstream GVPV
    • Hawker Horizon

    Performance Software's FMS expertise and commitment to excellence have facilitated many development opportunities and helped further solidify PSW as a key developer of FMS software. PSW has contributed to practically every aspect of FMS development on each of the primary FMS subsystem features listed:

    • Flight Management Crew Interface (FMCI)
    • Discrete Control Plan Management (DCP)
    • Flight Planning (FP)
    • Guidance (GD)
    • Navigation (NAV)
    • Navigation Database (NAVDB)
    • Operational Software (OPS)
    • Performance (PERF)

    The following highlights specific examples of FMS product development organized by FMS subsystem feature.


    PERF refers to the integrated performance prediction calculations captured for the active flight plan to establish an optimal set of flight parameters per the aircraft's existing configuration. Performance Software has built an extensive knowledge base and acquired a wealth of experience supporting one our key customers to develop many of the PERF features on several different aircraft platforms in each of Air Transport and Business & Commuter Aviation markets including the Airbus A320, Boeing B777 BPV14, B787, and B747-8 Next Gen platforms, as well as the Primus Epic FMS. PS efforts included full software life cycle development across the following areas:

    • Atmospheric Model (wind, temperature, pressure, density)
    • Climb Derate
    • Descent Altitude Constraint
    • Descent Path Generation
    • Downpath Transition Executive Handler
    • Early/Late Descent
    • Engine-Out SID
    • Engine-Out Drift Down
    • Flap Speed Target
    • Flight Plan Predictions (Active/Secondary)
    • Horizontal Stabilizer Trim Setting
    • Leg Distance Calculation
    • Max/Opt Altitude
    • Engine Out Drift Up/Drift Down
    • Performance Data Base (PDB)
    • Speed Target Generation
    • Step Climbs
    • Thrust Management
    • Thrust Targets
    • TOLD (Takeoff and Landing Function)

    Discrete Control Plan Management (DCP) is a subsystem on the Boeing 747-8. DCP is responsible for producing Lateral and Vertical targets from the flight plan at any point in time (as flight progresses). DCP also manages the following:

    • Dynamic flight plan data
    • Processes sequences to manage the static flight plan data, external subsystem predictions such as bleeds and slats/flaps
    • Interacts with the lateral Path construction to build and manage the desired lateral path
    • Manages the reference to the descent path
    • Determines and manages the Flight Phase
    • Abstracts the processes that determine targets from the flight plan to allow common capabilities for control and trajectory construction

    Performance Software supported the customer in developing the High Level requirements development of the DCP Target Processing functionality and Climb and Descent Path Altitude Constraint Rationalization categorized as a DO-178B Level B. Performance Software was responsible for DCP feature allocation to packages, decomposition of features to High Level SW requirements, definition of variation points to support DCP features, verification of the High Level SW requirements and tracing, and final independent verification of the SW requirements.


    The Guidance subsystem is a critical element responsible for lateral, vertical, and longitudinal axis controls to the Active flight plan route and coordinated guidance controls to transition back to the planned profile following a manual deviation from the Active plan. Lateral guidance control outputs include roll, desired track, and track deviation. Vertical guidance control outputs include pitch, thrust, and airspeed commands, vertical speed/flight path angle, and vertical path deviation. Auto-throttle (longitudinal) guidance control outputs include Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR)/N1 (rotor speed) targets, and throttle rate commands. PSW's involvement with Guidance began with system-level design of the vertical and lateral guidance functions with emphasis on the guidance modes for Primus Epic(TM) Dassault Falcon 900EX FMS. PSW focused efforts to resolve issues in guidance, specifically with Flight Guidance Redundancy Management design documentation and subsequent implementation of the software. Additionally, PSW supported Vertical Guidance change report (CR) updates including traceability, requirements derivation, design, code, and verification during the Falcon 900EX Lateral Navigation System-Level Testing.

    For the Boeing 787 aircraft, PSW has implemented the IAN (Integration Approach Navigation) function which was designed and patented by Boeing. PSW implemented LPV (WAAS Lateral Precision Performance with Vertical Guidance) approaches with 200-foot minimums that allow all approaches to look and feel like a precision approach to a pilot and autopilot. The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an air navigation aid developed by the Federal Aviation Administration to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity, and availability. Essentially, WAAS is intended to enable aircraft to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, including precision approaches to any airport within its coverage area. WAAS Capable GPS has enough vertical accuracy to calculate the VG slope with a non precision approach. PS implemented the LPV functionality from high system level requirements. PSW reviewed and provided input for all high system level requirements. PSW developed high level Software Requirements, updated the Design Description Document, developed low level Software Requirements, implemented the code, and performed ad hoc testing on a PC based simulator and lab hardware. PSW also completed system level check-out and integration in the lab and wrote a high level test plan to describe this testing. PSW went through the formal review process for all artifacts.

    For the Boeing 787 aircraft, PSW worked extensively on RNP Required Navigation Performance (RNP) which is defined by ICAO as "a statement of the navigation performance necessary for operation within a defined airspace. RNP is a method of implementing routes and flight paths that differs from previous methods in that not only does it have an associated performance specification that an aircraft must meet before the path can be flown but must also monitor the achieved performance and provide an alert in the event that this fails to meet the specification. Implemented a combination of improved positioning sensors (WAAS GPS and traditional IRUs, radio guidance) and implemented a more accurate and improved calculation of the path that the aircraft follows. Updated various aspects of the Guidance code, such as the Lateral Trajectory, in order to put the aircraft on path and keep it on path.

    For the Boeing 787 aircraft, PSW worked extensively on Lateral and Vertical Guidance SCRs. PSW updated requirements, design, and code where needed, to respond to problem reports. PSW also performed integration and integration testing and put all artifacts through formal review. PSW completed SCRs dealing with Lateral Path Errors and made functional updates to the desired track error and cross track error. PSW also completed SCRs for Detecting Leg Sequencing in Lateral Guidance, and completed SCRs dealing with Holding Patterns. PSW worked on Lateral Guidance Control Law specifically in the area of RNP improvements. PSW completed SCRs in Mode Control functionality which involves LNAV being engaged in different modes of Guidance. PSW completed SCRs that dealt with a number of pilot error messages and detecting and clearing annunciations. These messages include the bank angle limiting message, unable to hold airspace message, and debugged not on intercept message. PSW also added 5 new messages for IAN. PSW had to consider Dual mode and hot spare impacts. PSW worked with different leg types, what they mean and how you respond to them as defined in ARINC 424 (Jeppesen).


    PSW was pivotal to the development of the Airbus A320 and A380 FMS platforms. One area where PSW's influence has significantly impacted development is with FMCI. FMCI is an aggregate of FMS pages providing a graphical communication interface for FM data. PSW has performed a majority of the software life cycle activities on the A320 and A380 platforms during multiple independent programs involving FMCI. From a requirements development perspective, PSW has captured the systems life cycle outputs and formulated software requirements with a focus on the functional, performance, interface, and safety considerations for many of the pages including CDCK generation of Navaids, Departure, Duplicates, and Init Pages.

    The remaining engineering activities included analysis and development of the existing software design where FMCI requirements were further refined to establish the architectural elements used to create a design and framework for source code implementation. System changes identified during the analysis phase that impacted the existing design were subsequently captured and introduced into the system/software requirements and implemented as updates to the baseline software. PSW's contributions were instrumental in solving several architectural issues introduced in the new A380 system by latent events and supported re-factoring of existing design to ensure proper display and exact timing. PSW subsequently supported integration and formal verification.

    PSW implemented functions on several A320 FMCI pages including Radio Navigation, Navaid (Selected, New, and Stored), and Runway. PSW also implemented many features on the majority of flight management pages on the new A380 FMS including interfacing the existing FMS functionality to the new Multi-Function Display (MFD). The A380 FMCI development covered the following pages:

    • Active Fuel & Load
    • Active/FLPN/Hold
    • Airways
    • Alternates
    • Arrivals
    • Departure
    • Direct To
    • Duplicates
    • FIX INFO
    • FLPN
    • FPLN Sec
    • Fuel Pred
    • Hold Page
    • Init Page
    • Lat/Long Xing/Time Marker
    • Memory Readout
    • NAPD
    • Offset
    • PERF Approach
    • PERF Climb
    • PERF Cruise
    • PERF Descent
    • PERF GA
    • PERF TO
    • PERF TO Uplink
    • Position GPS
    • Prd RAIM
    • Position Monitor
    • Position Report
    • Rad Nav
    • Reject ATC Info
    • Route Selection
    • Sec Fuel & Load
    • Sec Index
    • Sec Init
    • Vertical Rev Step Alt
    • Vertical Rev CMS
    • Vertical Rev RTA
    • Vertical Rev Vertical Speed
    • Waypoint Creation
    • WINDS Cruise
    • WINDS Climb & Descent Pages
    • WINDS Datalink (Uplink & Downlink)
    • WINDS History


    The Flight Planning subsystem feature (FP)is a foundational concept enabling interactive flight planning capabilities to end-users. FP enables the end-user to effortlessly construct, modify, and transition routes based upon navigational information made available via NAVDB services. FP consists of several Flight Plans namely the Active, Secondary, Alternate, and Temporary Flight Plans, and incorporate a diverse set of defining elements including:

    • Origin Runway
    • SID (Standard Instrument Departures)
    • SID (Enroute Transition)
    • Enroute 'Direct' Legs
    • STAR Enroute Transition
    • STAR (Standard Terminal Area Arrival Route)
    • Approach and Approach Transitions
    • Destination Runaway
    • Missed Approach
    • Company Routes
    • Airways

    PSW supported development of several of the A320 FMS Step 1A program Flight Planning objectives for the Prediction Availability on the Secondary FPLN after ATC Uplink. The core features addressed included the Airway to Airway intersections, Direct-To (including Abeams and Course intercept in and out), Leg melding, Stringing of Data Link Flight plan uplink messages, Step Climb and Descent stringing, PI-CF enhancements, stringing of speed and altitude constraints, Circle Fix Info, and Altitude Constraint at HM Exit Fix. The engineering activities included full development of the low-level Software Design Documentation (SDD) derived from SRS requirements, full source implementation/modification including Informal Testing in a simulated environment and subsequent formal checkout in the Laboratory environment.


    One of PSW's customers provides a service to periodically update the latest Navigational Information supporting many different NAVDB formats and FMS software versions across Air Transport and Business & Commuter Aviation markets. The NAVDBs comprise the following data types: Navaids, Non-Directional Beacons, waypoints, airways, holding patterns, airports, runways, terminal area procedures, gates, company routes, fuel policy data, grid MORA, MSA, weight variant, test bus, and Airline Policy File (APF).

    PSW has expert knowledge and experience with the customer process to develop the Onboard Loadable file specifically with the 500K and 1Meg NDB layout and access. PSW was responsible for developing the customer's user application software to plot the NDB format and read the binary data represented in engineering units of the new NDB format DBAM (Database Access Management). Additional functions included formal verification of the DBAM software.

    PSW also worked with one of our key customer's Commercial FMS groups to develop a NAVDB converter. The converter received as input an old database and converted the format and layout of the database into a newer database in two stages. These changes updated the runway and approach files and allowed the FMS software to read the database information. The tool was subsequently updated with further changes including expanded index numbering. The development process adhered to the coding standards used by this customer for their DO-178 software. The tool was delivered using the Subversion configuration tool.


    The Navigation subsystem feature is responsible for processing and filtering data from several sources including Inertial Reference System (IRS), Global Position System (GPS) receiver, Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) receiver, VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR) receiver, and Instrument Landing System (ILS/LOC) receiver to accurately calculate the current aircraft state vector determination, position, velocity, track, heading, wind, and flight path angle.

    PSW supported development of the Airbus A320 Navigation Filtering enhancements on the FMS Step 1A program. Engineering activities focused on analysis of the existing design and code to develop a strategy to facilitate integration of several key updates, feature implementation, and informal verification of the updates per the NAV Software Requirements Document (SRD). The following highlights the NAV updates performed:

    • DME channel 4 tuning command for ILS only approach
    • GPS status bit
    • Navigation Retained GPS Bias Operations
    • Transient VOR/DME mode when navaid is unavailable
    • Navigation Update Mode Selection
    • DME/DME Radio Navigation availability enhancements
    • MLS DDM/degree conversion
    • GPS Primary Message
    • EPE Manual Position Update in GPS/Inertial


    OPS is an FMS category comprising the lower-level core features that support the FMS application operation behind the scenes. PSC assisted the customer in developing the Boeing 787 FMS Phase 4 OPS functional subsystem and to integrate/migrate the existing FMS I/O software onto Single Board Computers (SBCs) and General Processing Modules (GPMs). The primary tasks assigned to PSW included development of a robust Regression Test Suite that sufficiently exercises the critical code paths within the following B787 OPS functions:

    • Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Manager
    • Master Determination
    • Engine/Airframe/Thrust Rating Combinations
    • Offside Cross Compare
    • Hotspare Syncing

    The OPS Regression Test Suite development on the B787 program was subsequently used by PSW on integration and SCR private builds to flush-out issues introduced by post-build software updates. PSW also used the test suite to effectively identify and resolve the more esoteric resets occurring in the laboratory and support Non-Volatile Memory users uncover and resolve their issues in record time.

    The B787 SBC and GPM integration support focused on the NVM File Management and Chronometer functionality using the customer-provided Flight Input Data Output (FIDO) diagnostic GPM partition software and the Profiler Tool (provided by PSW). PSW was also tasked with addressing all code updates resulting from the integration activities and to provide expert knowledge and technical support regarding the FIDO and Trivial File Transfer feature integrated into the Build Support Package (BSP) provided by the customer.

    Additional PSW OPS support included development of the Power-Up BITE (PUB) IO system for the Airbus A380 CR2 FMS. This effort was practically full life cycle development consisting of high-level software requirements preparation and development, complete BITE IO source code implementation, and source code validation using the customer's HSS simulated environment. The BITE IO tests implemented include:

    • Clio status Register Test
    • Discrete Input Tests
    • X-Lane CPbus (Data & Address) Tests
    • Host Bridge Registers Tests
    • AFDX PMC BIST Tests
    • AFDX Loop-back Tests
    • ARINC 429 Transmitters Tests
    • Health Status Bits


    PSW has also contributed to architecting and developing simulation environments for the Primus Epic's FMS program. PSW supported the PCFMS and SmartPERF simulation toolsets.

    PCFMS is a graphical, desktop application whose purpose is to emulate the EPIC FMS subsystems both visually and functionally and subsequently facilitate rapid development and test support. PSW was tasked with consolidating source code and documentation from a diverse collection of data to support integration of several technologies required for updates to the CDU Code. The compilation of data was combined into a cohesive Legacy PCFMS product used across all functional groups within the FMS organization. Upon deployment of the PCFMS toolset, PSW acted as a liaison between the groups to mitigate any issues resulting from FMS feature integration with the legacy PCFMS toolset. PSW also coordinated changes to production software to accommodate PCFMS integration and supported development of the PCFMS Users Guide.

    SmartPERF is an FMS Performance (PERF) Code/Aircraft Database (ACDB) validation toolset created to support the Epic's FMS program. PSW performed a thorough analysis and developed a solid design for an efficient, user-friendly input capability, and a flexible output/storage/viewing ability. The output formatting presentation focused on Speeds (Max Endurance, MRC, LRC, Max Speed), Altitudes (Optimum, Ceiling (Max)), Specific Range, Climb Profile (time, distance, fuel required to altitude), Thrust, Drag, Max FF, Max Thrust, and Steady-State cruise. As a part of the output formatting capabilities, an iterative learning algorithm was designed/implemented to provide a means of capturing/saving the results. PSW was also responsible for developing/implementing a process to integrate existing FMS software into the driver environment. This effort greatly enhanced the maintainability/repeatability of future FMS software releases.

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