ITS: The Nation’s Spectrum and Communications Lab
Our mission is to ADVANCE innovation in communications technologies, INFORM spectrum and communications policy for the benefit of all stakeholders, and INVESTIGATE our Nation’s most pressing telecommunications challenges through research that employees are proud to deliver. Learn more about ITS on our YouTube Channel or read about our research programs in the Technical Progress Report.
August 18, 2020
Presentations from the ISART 2020, the International
Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies: 5G Spectrum and a
Zero-Trust Network are now available on the ...
April 2, 2020
The Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government
Data Act, signed into law on January 14, 2019, requires federal
agencies to publish their information online as open data, using
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...
This Month in ITS History
January 1943: First Radio Proximity Fuzed Ordinance Used in Combat
On January 5, 1943, the St. Louis Class light cruiser, USS Helena fired the first radio proximity fuzed ordinance in a combat action. The proximity fuze is considered to be one of the most important inventions to come out of World War II. Bombs that explode before impact cause greater damage than those that explode after impact, and reduce the effectiveness of foxholes and trenches. During the First World War, bombers realized this and attempted to bounce bombs off trees, cliffs, and other natural formations to trigger contact detonators. Soon timed fuzes were installed in ordinances, but these required perfect timing to explode in the proper position. Radio proximity fuzes held the promise of sensing their own altitude by reflecting radio waves off the ground and detonating at the proper time for maximum effect. Since 1940, the Navy and National Bureau of Standards had been working on parallel radio fuze projects. The Bureau's ordinance work was headed by Harry Diamond, and his Ordinance Development Division remained active until 1953, when it was transferred to the Army and renamed Diamond Ordinance Fuze Laboratories in honor of the NBS scientist. ITS researchers no longer develop ordinance, but they still work to keep members of the Armed Forces safe. Recent work includes improving tools for operational communications planning and developing propagation models for zero-height antennas—models that can help design systems to interfere with the signal intended to remotely detonate a buried improvised explosive device (IED).