So, it's time to start my personal UAV project, and contribute back to this community. First, I've bought an Ardupilot system as specified on the homepage. I'm using the EM406 for now, although I expect to upgrade when budget permits. To keep things simple at first, I'm using a stock EasyStar.Once I have the basic system working, my next step is to add code and/or hardware to enable waypoint changes in flight, or lower-level path control from a separate (ground or onboard) computer, and a camera subsystem. A move to a larger aircraft and test series to tune the autopilot to that aircraft will also be needed.The ultimate goal is to improve the system to meet the specification for the AUVSI Student UAS competition. I've competed in that competition using Micropilot and Piccolo autopilots, as part of the Embry-Riddle SOAR team, so I have a good idea of what's needed.Next post, I'll talk about details of my system build, and the decisions I've made within the Ardupilot manual instructions.