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Our Mission

ITS is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. ITS supports NTIA by performing the research and engineering that enables the U.S. Government, national and international standards organizations, and many aspects of private industry to manage the radio spectrum and ensure that innovative, new technologies are recognized and effective. ITS also serves as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, private corporations and associations, and international organizations.

Fiscal Year 2012 Technical Progress Report


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ITS is located on the campus of the Department of Commerce Boulder Laboratories.

Information about visiting the Boulder Labs

Boulder Labs Site Status

Partner Sites

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  • Standards Development and Analysis.
    ITS provides ongoing leadership and technical contributions to international, national, and local telecommunication standards committees such as ITU, TIA, ATIS. ITS experts are regularly called on to interpret and analyze standards and regulations.
  • Public Safety Communications Interoperability.
    ITS works directly with practitioner agencies to improve the intelligibility and interoperability of communication systems. ITS conducts research in the field and in the laboratory to reflect the real environment in which Public Safety operates.
  • Table Mountain Field Site.
    ITS maintains the Table Mountain Field Site north of Boulder, CO, a unique 1,800 acre designated Radio Quiet Zone and radio research facility that is extensively used for research and experimentation both by ITS and by others under cooperative agreements.
  • Radio Spectrum Measurement Science (RSMS).
    The RSMS system is a customized resource for the performance of fundamental theoretical and applied research. The RSMS-4G truck is a state-of-the-art mobile measurement laboratory used to measure spectrum occupancy and analyze interference problems.
  • Audio and Video Quality Research.
    Objective quality-of-service (QoS) measurements for voice and video communications using different coding and transmission schemes taken in ITS’s unique audio-visual laboratories provide government and industry tools and techniques to assess service quality.
  • Wireless Voice/Data Systems and Emerging Technologies.
    ITS assesses telecommunications system components and emerging technologies, evaluates network survivability, and assesses system effectiveness in national security/emergency preparedness, military, and commercial environments.
  • Radar Interference Effects Tests and Measurements.
    ITS acts as a resource to military and civilian agencies to identify sources of radar signal interference through controlled laboratory and field testing. Root cause analysis leads to engineering of proposed solutions shared with industry.

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New Reports Explore LTE-Radar Interference in 3.5 GHz Band

To support the Administration's commitment to making available an additional 500 MHz of spectrum for commercial use by 2020, ITS continues to perform and publish technical studies in bands proposed for sharing. In collaboration with a wireless technology provider, earlier this year engineers from ITS and NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management (OSM) jointly performed ground-breaking interference-effects testing between radar signals and broadband digital communication receivers in the 3550-3650 MHz (3.5 GHz) band. In July, ITS released two reports that describe these measurements and analyses.

NTIA Technical Report TR-14-506, co-authored by Geoffrey A. Sanders, John E. Carroll, and Frank H. Sanders of ITS with Robert L. Sole of OSM, presents the results of measurements and analyses of the effects of radar interference on prototype LTE equipment that might in future operate in that band. NTIA Technical Report TR-14-507, co-authored by Frank H. Sanders, John E. Carroll, Geoffrey A. Sanders, and Robert J. Achatz of ITS; Robert L. Sole of OSM; and Lawrence S. Cohen of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, presents the results of measurements and analyses of the effects of LTE interference on a type of radar receiver that might eventually share spectrum with such systems.

Using these data, spectrum managers can refine and update the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) analyses originally presented in NTIA's "Fast Track Report" for possible future spectrum sharing between LTE and radars in the 3.5 GHz band. The reports do not identify interference protection criteria (IPC) for either the tested radar type or the tested LTE networks. But the measurement results may be used to guide the development of band-sharing EMC criteria. These data will be critically important to government and private-sector engineers and spectrum regulators as spectrum sharing opportunities in the band are explored. They will need to determine the conditions under which future LTE-type broadband systems may be able to share 3.5 GHz spectrum with high-power, incumbent government radar systems.

NTIA welcomes technical readers to review these data and share questions or comments with the authors.

New Publications