Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Institute for Telecommunication Sciences / About ITS / Awards / 2013 Bronze Medal Awards

2013 Bronze Medal Awards

Chris Behm

Chris Behm received a DoC Bronze Award for outstanding scientific and engineering achievement for rapidly developing and steering through standardization a new reference implementation of IUT-R Recommendation P.533, an intense technical effort accomplished in a very brief time. Through his joint positions as technical expert/U.S. Chair of ITU-R Study Group 3 (SG 3) Working Party 3L (WP 3L) and U.S. Chair of SG 3, Chris was able to submit the new model as a technical contribution at the June 2013 WP 3L meetings, advocate for it, and obtain acceptance in September 2013. Rec P.533, “Method for the prediction of the performance of HF circuits,” is used to plan deployment of emergency and tactical communication systems worldwide. This model has been maintained by ITS since it was developed and implemented in FORTRAN in the 1980s. Users worldwide and in the DoD, which sponsored the work through an interagency agreement, needed an implementation that would run in modern computing environments. Chris developed a multi-platform C implementation with methods for prediction of available frequencies, signal levels, and reliability for analog and digital-modulated HF systems, taking into account signal-to-noise ratio and the expected time and frequency spreads of the channel. This was one in a suite of technical contributions to SG 3 by the U.S., German, and U.K. delegations. The German delegation compiled and exercised the code, which compiled in five minutes with no errors. The technical expertise demonstrated by this contribution firmly cemented the U.S. leadership position as technical experts in HF radio propagation modeling, enhancing NTIA’s ability to advance spectrum sharing positions that align with U.S. interests.

Chriss Hammerschmidt and Paul McKenna

Chriss Hammerschmidt and Paul McKenna received DoC Bronze Awards for scientific and engineering achievement for leading a spectrum measurement, modeling, and simulation effort to examine the feasibility of spectrum sharing and help pave the way for an auction in the 1755–1780 MHz band to fulfill the Presidential mandate to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for commercial use. They measured incumbent Federal usage in the band at three representative DoD facilities and developed models and simulations to assess the feasibility of commercial LTE user equipment (UE) sharing spectrum with incumbent DoD systems. The effort was performed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with commercial carrier partners. Measurements and models were shared with a Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) working group and NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), and factored into NTIA’s decision to auction a portion of the spectrum.

Chriss wrote the test plan and obtained DoD agreement on the methodology, configured the measurement systems, developed and validated automated testing and data processing algorithms, coordinated site access with the DoD, assembled and deployed the RF equipment, performed or oversaw six weeks of measurements, and authored or co-authored reports to the CRADA partners and the DoD.

Paul oversaw development of terrestrial and airborne electromagnetic compatibility simulations to assess the aggregate interference to DoD systems in the band from thousands of LTE UEs. The aggregate interference simulation demonstrated a novel and innovative application of the IF-77 propagation model that produces tens of thousands of point-to-point pathloss estimates. It improves analysis capability by including the previously omitted effects of terrain and can be extended for use in a host of other simulations involving airborne radio propagation and geographically distributed radio transmitters.

Eric Nelson

ITS engineer Eric Nelson shared a group Bronze Award with team members from NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management for superb leadership in industry/government collaboration resulting in industry access to 40 megahertz and new avenues toward spectrum sharing.