NDPTC January Third Thursday Event: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV or UAS)

Posted on Feb. 10, 2014

NDPTC’s Third Thursday presentation and pau hana for January drew a large audience, as many guests came to our event, hosted at nearby Lyon Associates, Inc., to learn about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV or UAS) from presenter and Hawaii resident Ted Ralston

After a long career in the aerospace industry, Ted currently is focusing on UAVs, because of their value in generating geographic information to support our understanding and expression of the environment around us, whether in environmental discovery, restoration, archaeology, or disaster recovery, with lower risk, faster response, and less damage to the environment than conventional means.


Ted brought one of his small UAVs to the event and passed it around to all attendees. Ted explained some of the many ways UAVs could be used in disaster response, from taking overhead video to determine damage to critical infrastructure, to using infrared sensing to located people trapped in the rubble. His UAVs were used for disaster response in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. To improve future UAV operations, the Federal Aviation Administration recently selected six sites for testing, including Hawaii (in partnership with the University of Alaska and the State of Oregon), where they aim to develop a set of standards for unmanned aircraft categories, state monitoring, navigation, and safety.