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.
ISART 2020 presentations have been uploaded to the Agenda for the 2020 International
Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies:...
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
standardized, machine-readable data formats. In addition,...
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
November 1965: The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences and Aeronomy is Created
On November 13, 1965, Executive order No. 2 of 1965 became effective. The order combined three agencies—the US Weather Bureau, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory (CRPL)—into a single agency. The new Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) was created to encompass the study of oceans, atmosphere, and the environment. The CRPL was renamed the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences and Aeronomy. CRPL researchers had become increasingly interested in Aeromony, the study of the atmosphere, as they researched the propagation of radio waves in the ionosphere and troposphere. In the late 1950s and early 1960s CRPL had been involved in the creation of satellites and detection of high altitude nuclear explosions. The agency was no longer simply a propagation laboratory, and the new name demonstrated the focus of their work. In 1967 ITSA’s Aeronomy labs were incorporated into ESSA’s Research Labs, and ITSA became ITS, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, as it has remained to this day. ITS continues to work on understanding the propagation of radio waves and the challenges of modern communications. In 1970 the agencies comprising ESSA were split up again. The Aeronomy labs, the Weather Bureau, and the Coast and Geodetic Survey joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, while ITS became the research arm of the Office of Telecommunications. Today, ITS maintains working relationships with its former sister agencies through interagency agreements. NOAA, ITS, and NIST (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) share the Department of Commerce’s Boulder Labs. ITS is currently working with NIST on projects for spectrum sharing, public safety communications, and improved propagation modeling. ITS also works with NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) to protect satellite downlnks from interference and NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) to improve NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) systems.