Harold and Nick discussed getting together on Sunday to put together and fly the glider. Whether I can make it depends on when I'm going to Scarborough this weekend; if I go on Saturday (questionable due to rain), then I'll be open Sunday and will make it. Checking Waxahachie weather, it looks like I might go Saturday, so barring unforeseen changes I expect to be able to make it Sunday.
The cutter had a too-short hinge bolt, but otherwise looks waay better than hand-wrapping NiChrome. I don't know if Harold ran the FET circuit after I left, but he did build it. Nick got the Pixhawk relay functioning so it can trigger the cutter. So we are close to done with the cutter circuit.
I liked Harold's drone attachment method: fishing line only, line goes to an internal hardpoint and passes through the cutter out the rear of the craft. Simple.
We believe someone walked out the door with the committee's Ardupilot and APRS system. We will be looking into locked storage, now. In the meantime, I've volunteered my Pixhawk for testing purposes; haven't committed to launching it though. For APRS, I don't know what to do. If we want another system, we could always do something like this: http://www.byonics.com/mt-1000. But that's a bit expensive.
The spare balloons are on hold until we get the drone assembled and launch weight is known again. We may deviate from 350g (balloon size) if our weight is really off.
Nick got a Dragon Link, and was talking about putting that on the aircraft. Looking at their website ... that may solve the missing APRS problem. Hmm.
We need to be working specifically towards 1.) electronics integration / putting things in the airframe and 2.) a power test so we can pick the right battery. The purpose of the Sunday meeting is to put the servos, a basic power supply, and a receiver in the aircraft, drop it, and fly manually so as to ascertain its flying qualities; if there is time, then integration of the Pixhawk and cutter and having the drone cut itself away from the tow drone will be the stretch goal. So ideally, the only thing left construction-wise after Sunday would be integrating various cameras and radios.
I was talking to Jay last time about putting the GoPro in the nose and possibly on a gimbal (at least on the elevation axis). I thought the gimbal would be very nice to have to get consistently decent shots of the horizon; he insisted the gimbal would actually be necessary. I like the gimbal idea, but we have done no work so far on this.