I am brand new to the UAV community and have been assigned to develop an ArduPilot based fixed-wing UAV as part of a summer research internship. In preparation for the internship, I am to familiarize myself with the ArduPilot Software in the Loop simulation. Unfortunately, the full extent of my experience with programming consists of a single undergraduate semester of Arduino in an introduction to Mechatronics class, and I am completely unfamiliar with C++, Python, and the littany of CompSci terms which are used so freely in this community.
I feel I can figure out the software once it is up and running, however while I have been trying to decode the SITL information at this page: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/SITL, I have made little to no progress toward even getting the programs built and operational. Is there anyone here who could reduce the build to a series of simple and direct steps to get the program operational on my computer rather than having to sift through lists of source code and hoping I get all the subcomponents I need installed? I am attempting to run the simulation on a laptop running 64-Bit Windows 7 Enterprise SP1.
The organization I will be working for saw my experience with Arduino, as well as my interest in aviation, and felt this project would be appropriate, however I have come to find a much greater level of programming experience could be necessary, experience I do not have time to obtain by this summer.