What We Do
The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. We perform advanced communications research to inform spectrum policy and develop capabilities to solve emerging telecommunications issues. We serve as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, industry, and international organizations. We work to continually advance the state of the art in radio frequency (RF) propagation measurement, RF propagation modeling, spectrum monitoring and enforcement, electromagnetic compatibility analysis, interference mitigation strategies, evaluation of end-user experience, and engineering analysis of evolving technologies to manage and share spectrum efficiently. Learn more about ITS on our YouTube Channel or read about our research programs in the FY 2017 Technical Progress Report.
May 9, 2019
ITS has a long history of leadership in air-to-ground
propagation model development within the International
Telecommunications Union – Radiocommunication Sector’s (ITU-R)
Study Group 3 – Radiowave Propagation (and its...
March 10, 2019
How can we get more use out of the radio spectrum? One way is by
sharing radio bands between users who have never shared before.
Consider radio frequencies near 3.5 GHz. Until recently, that part
of the spectrum was...
November 26, 2018
Behind every initiative to share spectrum are models of
how radio waves in a particular band propagate through different
environments. How far will a signal travel before it becomes too
faint to be useful or...
August 7, 2018
The record attendance (nearly 170 experts from government,
academia, and industry) at the 17th International Symposium on
Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) demonstrated the deep interest
in the problem of modeling...
April 24, 2018
As demand for spectrum for commercial use continues to grow,
policymakers are exploring spectrum sharing as a way to expand
capacity while still fulfilling the needs of federal agencies. This
model can work only if rules...
This Month in ITS History
November 1918: World War 1 Ends
The National Bureau of Standards radio lab worked closely with the Army and Navy during the First World War. During the war, the lab's work was focused on military needs, such as air navigation devices, submarine communications equipment, and training books for military radio operators. The demand for its work had prompted the lab to increase staff to 40 people. At 11:00 AM on November 11th 1918 the Armistice of Compiègne began. Signed two days earlier, following the abdication of the German Kaiser, this treaty marked the end of World War I’s hostilities. With the end of the war, the radio lab began to focus its efforts on research that could improve the lives of civilians. Staff tested broadcasting equipment, created radios for home use, and pioneered new methods of transmitting. The return of radio savvy servicemen and the release of airwaves monopolized by the Navy during the war combined to create a boom in commercial radio in the early 1920s. Without military funds from the war effort, the Bureau struggled to recruit and keep experienced radio researchers to study the fundamentals of radio propagation. Nonetheless, their work on signal fading and the ionosphere helped commercial stations maintain steady signals with minimal interference and contributed significantly to the growth of the industry. Today, ITS continues to support the needs of both military and civilian telecommunications by performing basic and applied research to encourage the development of new, more efficient and effective communications technologies.