Thousands of talented, dedicated and passionate people work at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. They are rocket scientists and engineers. They are researchers and physicists and chemists. They are aviation specialists, public affairs officers, administrative assistants, security officers, logistics managers and more. With countless specializations in myriad fields, the people of Glenn share one goal: working for the public in support of NASA's mission.
The diverse Glenn workforce is comprised of civil servants and on-site support contractors. Workers perform a large variety of different jobs at NASA Glenn. "My Job at NASA Glenn" is a series that introduces some of these workers. Learn about different employees and the interesting jobs they perform, and how their education prepared them to make unique and important contributions to NASA.
Félix A. Miranda
Chief, Antenna and Optical Systems Branch
Félix A. Miranda
Image Credit: NASA
What that means:
This means that I lead a group of scientists and engineers that performs research and development (R&D) and technology evaluation and characterization in the areas of radio frequency antennas and optical systems in support of NASA's mission.
What I do:
On a daily basis I work with and oversee the members of my organization as we endeavor together in the development of antenna, microwave and optical systems, subsystems, components, and techniques for advanced communication systems. Emphasis is on the development and characterization of phased array antennas and array feeds, large-aperture deployable antennas, miniaturized antennas, and tradeoff studies among different antenna technologies for space applications. Potential lower cost space-fed active array and reflectarray concepts are also of interest, as well as phased arrays using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), ferroelectric and optical technology. Research and development initiatives on integrated radio frequency (RF) and optical communication systems are also underway.
Research efforts also include radio frequency (RF) and optical propagation phenomena through atmospheric and turbulent media, development and validation of communication systems for aviation safety and aviation capacity, and other related electromagnetic phenomena. The branch develops, maintains and operates state-of-the-art antenna metrology facilities for measurement and characterization of diverse antenna systems.
The coolest / most interesting part of my job is:
Making sure that our milestones are met and that our research and technology development efforts not only benefit NASA but also benefit industry, academia and society at large.
My favorite project that I have worked, or that I am working on, is:
All of the projects in which I have been involved since the beginning of my career at NASA have been of great interest and personal satisfaction. The initial work on the microwave properties of high temperature superconducting thin films; the development of thin film ferroelectric-based tunable components and systems for aerospace communication applications; the current work on RF and optical systems for high data rate communications; miniaturized antennas for Bio-MEMS sensors; and the development of novel antenna metrology for the characterization of miniaturized antennas are some examples. These projects, among others, have all been very rewarding and satisfying to work in and be part of.
The accomplishment that I am most proud of is:
There are many, but I have to mention at least two of them. The first is the completion of my Ph.D., since it helped me realize that all worthwhile goals required hard work, discipline, persistence, dedication and patience. The second is my patents. It is good to know that the outcome of the work that I have done are technologies that are recognized as valuable not only to NASA but also to the U.S. industries.
A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education helped me by:
My STEM education helped me by providing an effective set of tools and a solid basis upon which I could build a career and make valuable contributions in the field that I like. It also helped by giving me an opportunity to share with others what I have learned through my career.
Good advice for students, including STEM students, is:
Work hard, be disciplined, be persistent, and be dedicated to your career. With a good disposition, perseverance and patience, everyone can achieve anything. And remember, "Dream big."