After our meeting with Dr. Jadud and Dr. Pearce to go over our semester goals, we decided that setting up our simulation environment was the next step required for progress. Dr. Jadud informed us of FlightGear, a sophisticated, professional, open-source flight simulator. So, we decided to give it a try. The plan was to figure out how to fly a plane, and receive flight data via UDP. This did not happen.
Due to the slow wireless network connection on campus, the downloading and installation took longer than expected. But we overcame this challenge by bringing out the ethernet cable. The program was an easy installation once downloaded. However, running it was a different issue.
We have two different laptops (4gb of ram, dual core), and one of them could not run it at all (Dell Latitude E5410) - graphics card not powerful enough, the other(Latitude E6400) could barely run it - it would freeze shortly after.
Still, we managed to get the plan in the air for a few seconds (before crashing or computer being frozen).
We are planning on getting a Mac workstation, which should be more than enough to run this software and anything else that we will need to run. So, those issues of not having powerful enough hardware will not be repeated. Hopefully, we will have that set up by next week so we can begin learning the simulator and transferring flight data via UDP.