Robert’s Resume

Resume – Robert E. Palma   P.O. Box 2256  Fairfield, IA   52556
Business Fax:  208-474-5445  Internet:


Engineering My experience includes detailed research, design and development; subsystem engineering; and system engineering. I have more than 4 decades conducting detailed hardware design at the piece-part / material level. I have designed numerous flight avionics subsystems (electronics, electro-mechanical and electro-explosive devices and subsystems) for (17 total) spacecraft and launch vehicles, as well as “racks” of ground test and simulation hardware for each of those flight systems. These subsystems/disciplines included: instrumentation, control, communications, power conversion/conditioning, radio frequency, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), reliability, and safety.
I have written hundreds of thousands of lines of code (software) for diverse applications. These applications include: circuit modeling, design analysis and synthesis, Fourier analysis, EMC, machine/process control, automatic test equipment, voicemail, auto-attendant, audio text, fax-on-demand, fax-retrieval, fax mailbox, Internet search robot, custom TCP/IP peer-to-peer and client-server applications, PC desktop file encryption using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), email client with advanced encryption of enclosures, and point-and-execute operating system shell. I have written for numerous computers/chips including: Burroughs, Univac and CDC mainframes; DEC and HP minis; many x86 PCs; many 8080 clone chips. Operating systems for the mainframe/minis were proprietary to the host. PC operating systems were DOS, Win98, Win-NT, Win2K, Win-XP, and Linux. Languages included: C/C++, Fortran, Basic, Algol, Vulcan, VAL, Assembler and machine language.
I have served as Design Engineer, Software Engineer, Project Engineer, System Engineer and Chief Engineer in several organizations on numerous projects. A majority of experience was in an industry where it was there was no “second chance”. Systems had to be highly reliable at their initial deployment.

Management My experience includes: 1] functional management of highly specialized technology R&D teams, 2] project and program management of diverse technologies with a central focus, and 3] administrative management of business, financial, security and other logistical  areas.
All of my 40+ years of experience has been in the vein of having to deliver cost-effective, reliable, technology innovation within the constraints of a given budget and schedule. I have done this in private industry and in the federal government. My management positions have included: supervising and guiding small R&D teams (20 – 40), managing several projects simultaneously with 500+ aggregate staff, and serving as office head with general organizational administrative duties. The environments of these assignments, particularly the government, were quite challenging. There were numerous conflicting bureaucratic and political requirements that had to be satisfied, and there was a constant pressure of competition from various sectors. In the vast majority of my experience, I was the lead ‘sales’ person for my efforts. I had to find sponsors/investors, make credible and compelling arguments for funding, and most importantly, keep them satisfied during the course of the project. Studying, understanding and abiding-by near countless, and often conflicting laws, regulations and instructions was a common  background in my years of service.
May 1991 to Present: President and Chief Engineer of Midwest Research Corp. Midwest Research develops and markets sophisticated telecommunications systems and data-communications, devices and software; develops technology products for reduction of RF for personnel; consults on electromagnetic field environments; installs telephone systems for office, industry, military and other applications.
Midwest Research Corp also installs and maintains business telephone systems (PBXs) for offices from 20 employees to 600 employees. These efforts include all PBX hardware, wiring, phone sets, Telco and private interfaces, peripheral hardware and un-interruptable power supply systems.
Development of KetuFile, software. This product is an application that allows Window’s desktop users to encrypt any PC file, up to 2 gigabytes in size, with strong encryption. This software uses the next-generation Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Development of GoRobot, Internet search robot/crawler. GoRobot is a programmable web retrieval application. It ‘sweeps’ (‘crawls’, ‘scans’,  etc.) the web looking for files that match a specific criteria.
Development of Magic Voice, a flexible, PC-based Telephony Voice/Fax Response System with voicemail, automated receptionist (auto attendant) capability.
Activities of Engineering Design, Consulting and Management 1] Electromagnetic field analysis for specific environments. 2] aerospace systems engineering, 3] electronics design and space qualification, 4] aerospace safety analysis, 5] electromagnetic compatibility, 6] design and analysis of power, ordnance, instrumentation, control, telemetry and command systems, 7] reliability systems design, 8] design and development of computer based instruments and controllers including voice processing/storage/retrieval/mail and voice conferencing systems, and  9] program management principles, approaches/systems, analysis and review. 10] Systems Engineering, Power and Ordnance Subsystem Engineering, and Program Management consulting for Naval Research Lab DSPSE Program; 11] Systems Engineering, Avionics and Ordnance System design consulting and Deputy Program Manager for ORBEX space launch vehicle for CTA Launch Services; 12] Safety and Reliability analysis of industrial ordnance firing circuitry for the Ensign Bickford Co.
Nov. 1997 to 2001:
Chief Engineer of corporation. designs and develops high technology systems for the transport and serving of integrated voice, data and video, content and information.
My major effort in was lead developmental engineer and Project Manager of the ADAM Exchange. ADAM (All Digital And MultiMedia) is an integrated Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) architecture that entirely replaces the combined infrastructures of telephone, cable TV and Internet provisioning. It brings fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and to the business. In addition to traditional phone, cable TV (MPEG-2) and wideband Internet, our design included, true video on demand, security/surveillance systems, and utility power monitoring and control. We concluded our efforts with a prototype system demonstration. Our documentation was quite thorough, including: 1] Strategic Plan, 2] System Performance and Design Requirements, 3] Task Descriptions and Qualifications, 4] Advanced Features, 5] Work Breakdown Structure, 6] Program Management Plan, 7] Business Plan.
Note: The above position was concurrent with Midwest Research Corp. activities.
1985 to May 1991:  GM-15 Program Manager and Chief Engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for the SDI Programs. In this position I had total program responsibility from conceptualization, design and qualification, to delivery, launch, deployment and operation and scientific data processing of sophisticated spacecraft systems and the related ground assets. All projects required significant strides in technological innovation and a broad attack on a complex set of interdisciplinary problems to achieve the needed results. The disciplines/subsystems  involved in these projects included: 1] Optical and Focal Plane, 2]  Radio Frequency, 3] Electrical Power, 4] Telemetry, Tracking and Command, 5] Attitude Control, 6] Reaction Control, 7] Structures and Mechanisms, 8] Thermal Control Subsystems, 9] Ordnance Control, 10] System Safety including ground processing and flight, 11] Reliability and Quality Assurance, and a variety of experimental subsystems and devices.
The largest single project was the Low Power Atmospheric Compensation Experiment (LACE).  It comprised 4 experiment subsystems including a wide dynamic range electro-optic laser sensor array with 210 individual sensors, and a high precision gimbaled ultraviolet telescope with automatic acquisition and tracking of rocket plumes. The ground assets included fixed and transportable satellite tracking stations, ground processing facilities and operational control centers. These ground assets included computer and communication technologies such as: mini-computers (VAX); work stations; numerous PC’s (Mac and IBM clone); image display and processing platforms; and PBX, data and voice mail communications electronics. The multi-year cost of LACE was $154M (including $46M for the Delta launch vehicle). I was responsible for staffing and directing the efforts of  approximately 500 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel.
I served as Program Manager and Systems Engineer for the Navy Sealar Program. Sealar is a multi-stage, liquid propellant, sea launched and recovered booster (rocket) system for placing satellites into Earth orbit. This concept offers to reduce the cost of space access by an order of magnitude.
1972 to 1985: Designer and Head of Spacecraft Power Systems and Instrumentation Section (staff of 40 professionals from Ph.D. to electronic Tech.). My responsibilities included: 1] research, design development and qualification  of space-borne electrical power and precision instrumentation/control systems, 2] design, development and qualification of space-borne ordnance control systems, 3] explosive control systems safety analysis, 4] electromagnetic compatibility analysis and design, 5] design and safety qualification of numerous ground test sets including bridgewire resistance testers, firing circuit stray voltage test sets, and explosion-proof hydrazine fueling control sets, 6] spacecraft integration and test management, 7] launch vehicle integration, 8] special study project manager and 9] payload manager. I performed these efforts for 13 Earth orbiting satellites, 1 Shuttle attached payload compliment and 3 booster upper stage vehicles including a Shuttle/Titan4 bi-propellant transfer stage capable of 15,000 lb. throw weight.
Other Capabilities/Duties: 1] I provided expert consultation in the area of R.F. hazards and design engineering practices for ordnance and ordnance subsystem designs, to the DOD on the rewrite of MIL-STD-1512 (tailoring for the US Space Shuttle) for electro-explosive subsystems. For this effort I was the single ordnance electronics design engineer on the committee, 2] I served as Navy Payload Manager and Systems Engineer for first DOD Space Shuttle flight, STS-4, and signed payload safety submittals as the Certifying Safety Officer, 3] I served as Electrical Launch Vehicle Integration Engineer on the SOLRAD-HI spacecraft, 4] I performed numerous other circuit/subsystem detailed designs and space qualifications including a spacecraft ranging system for a 70,000 nmi. orbit, digital/analog telemetry systems, precision analog instrumentation and control circuits and systems, linear and switch-mode power regulators, PC-based automated flight box environmental test controllers, precision timing and sequencing electronics, 5] I performed design and development, including all software, of a precision instrument utilizing high integration microprocessor with digital readout, engineering unit conversion & numerous serial/parallel interfaces, 6] I performed design and development of PC computer based phone mail system, including software, 7] I performed several major designs of PC based process controllers including spacecraft Power System Test Set and Valve Life Test Set for rocket propulsion subsystems.
1971 to 1972: At the Naval Weapons Laboratory I served as analyst and designer on various projects related to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO). I worked in the frequency regime of 220 MHz to 18 Ghz. I designed the first Aircraft-To-Deck HERO High Impedance RF Meter to be used on the deck of US aircraft carriers.
1967-1971: While obtaining my undergraduate engineering degree I served as Chief Engineer of WCHV (AM 5KW) and WCCV (FM 50KW) in Charlottesville, VA.
EDUCATION: BSEE Univ. of VA, 1971.  Also, 16 other Graduate and continuing education courses in technology and management.

MEMBERSHIP:  Register EIT VA, former Chairman, Systems Working Group, Interagency Advanced Power Group.


* R.E. Palma  “Results from Preliminary Processing of Data from a Rocket Plume Encounter”, NRL Publication 185-8102, 1990.
* R.E. Palma “UV Airglow and Auroral Imaging from the LACE Satellite”, presented at the American Geophysical Union, 1990.
* R.E. Palma “Execution of a Successful Rocket Plume Observation from the LACE Satellite”, presented at the 14th Annual Guidance and Control Conference of the American Astronautical Society, 1991.
* R.E. Palma  “(U) Active Survivability Final 88 Report”  1988, NRL
* R.E. Palma “A 600 Watt Four Stage Phase-Shifted-Parallel DC-to-DC Converter”, Proceedings of the 1985 IEEE, PESC.
* R.E. Palma “Analysis of Magnetic Proportional Drive Circuits for Bipolar Junction Transistors”, Proceedings of the IEEE PESC, 1984.
* R.E. Palma et. al. “A Proportional Drive for Discontinuous Mode DC-to-DC Converters”, IEEE, Intelec 1984 Conference Record.
* R.E. Palma “Power MOS Transistor Usage In Space”, 1984, Report and Program Control Document to PDE-106.5
* R.E. Palma et. al. “(U) Sortie-Lab Final Report”, 1982 NRL Report
* R.E. Palma  “HERO High Impedance Voltmeter”, 1971
* Introduction_To_Cryptography_For_Non_Technical_Personnel_Part_1
* Introduction_To_Cryptography_For_Non_Technical_Personnel_Part_2
* What_Is_SSL?
* The Problem_With_Public_Key_Encryption_and_PKI
* Symmetric_vs_Asymmetric_Encryption
* Unspoken_Risk_Of_E_Commerce
* What_E_Commerce_Really_Needs

INVENTIONS/PATENTS: “High Accuracy Current Sensor” invention and patent application.
AWARDS: Outstanding Performance Evaluations and publication awards:  26  Also awarded Individual and Group Achievement Award for the LACE Satellite.

LICENSES:  FCC General Radio Telephone (formerly termed 1st Class Radio Telephone) and General Amateur.
CERTIFICATIONS: Factory certified for installation and maintenance of PBX and related hardware/software systems for Mitel, Panasonic and Vodavi business telephone systems.