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September 23, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Linda Collard, Exec. Dir.


Presentation Summary:

 “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)” or drones are an emerging technology globally, and also on the verge of revolutionizing disaster recovery management.  The speakers will give a “What are UAVs” overview, including the latest FAA UAS regulations and related laws, and how UAVs would enhance a disaster mission, like in a post-super hurricane Hawaiʻi.

Recently, the Honolulu-based National Disaster Preparedness Training Center held the first class in the nation -- in San Diego partnered with a leading California utility -- to address UAVs and disaster management.

Small, unmanned aircraft can be essential tools for finding lost or trapped people using infrared sensors; for post-disaster damage assessment imagery of infrastructure, transportation, and buildings; for delivering critical items such as medicine to stranded people; for providing a temporary communications network when the primary system is damaged by a disaster; for ongoing infrastructure analysis as part of disaster mitigation; and for providing early storm warning public audio announcements via an onboard speaker system, among many other uses.


Eric Yamashita, NDPTC Associate Director


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Ted Ralston is an aeronautical engineer who recently retired after more than 40 years in the aerospace industry. He mostly recently worked for Boeing Co. and McDonnell-Douglas for 20 years, and prior to that he worked for 22 years for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Since his retirement, he has been very active in the research, development, and practical application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). He is a Subject Matter Expert who helped develop the course on Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Disaster Management for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. Ralston works with the Hawaii National Guard, University of Hawaii, and Hawaii State Civil Defense in cooperative Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Preparedness programs, and is helping to develop operational concept standards with the National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue. He has a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Jennifer Davidson is the program manager for the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) courses for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC). She is developing a series of courses on UAS in Disaster Management for NDPTC. She is a former airline pilot and flight instructor and developed aviation training modules for flight schools and airport managers. She also has lived and worked in Africa, Latin America, and Europe, and has worked for the French Embassy and French Trade Commission, and worked as a journalist for the Philanthropy Journal in the U.S. and El Tiempo newspaper in Bogota, Colombia. She has a bachelor’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, an associate’s degree in Aviation Technology from the Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program at San Juan College, and a master’s degree in Development Management from the Program in International Development Policy at Duke University.