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Ted Ralston

Veteran aerospace industry engineer Ted Ralston has been appointed director of unmanned aerial systems at the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaiʻi (ARL/UH).

In his new role, Ralston will be responsible for determining and disseminating best practices on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the State of Hawaiʻi through his oversight of the Hawaiʻi UAS Test Range, one of several test sites that comprise the Pan Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC). The PPUTRC involves the states of Alaska, Oregon, Mississippi, as well as Iceland, and is one of six official Federal Aviation Administration test sites in the U.S.

“We are pleased to have Ted Ralston onboard to develop, test and evaluate UAS technology to determine standards for safe and reliable integration into both Hawaiʻi and our nation’s airspace,” said Margo Edwards, interim executive director of ARL/UH. “His experience and knowledge in the aerospace industry is a perfect fit to conduct UAS operational tests in Hawaiʻi’s unique and challenging environment involving heat, humidity, high winds and rugged terrain.”

Ralston currently serves as a part-time advisor to the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center in Honolulu and was a major content contributor to a FEMA course on UAS use in disaster management. Over a 42-year career in aerospace, Ralston has held various management and director positions with the Boeing Company and McDonnell-Douglas Corporation and previously served in various engineering and project management positions with Pratt & Whitney’s Aircraft Division. He received his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1968 and completed his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1971. Ralston is a 1963 graduate of Punahou School.

“It’s exciting to see new aerospace-oriented technology advancing in Hawaiʻi,” said Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director Luis P. Salaveria. “As we move our innovation economy forward, testing and developing this type of technology is ideally suited to help expand and diversify future business development opportunities statewide.”

Read the news release for more information.

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