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

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 Technical Progress Report.

 

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,...

The 18th International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART 2020) will explore “5G Spectrum and a Zero-Trust Network.” Visit...

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...

New Publications

This Month in ITS History

June 1950: NBS Functions Restated by Congress

On June 22, 1950, Congress changed the role of the National Bureau of Standards. Created in 1901, NBS worked for 49 years to devise, test, and calibrate standard units of measure. During World War II NBS expanded its scope of work to support the war effort. The new legislation mandated that the war work continue to meet the needs of an industrializing nation. NBS’s work on standards was laid out with regard to railroads, chemicals, atomic energy, temperature, radiation, and more. The agency was also tasked with advising and cooperating with other government agencies on scientific and engineering matters. The law further required NBS to determine the properties of materials, a project they were already working on. This law paved the way for NBS to investigate materials and processes to improve American industry and government. Following the restatement of its functions, NBS expanded its radio and communications work. For 15 more years NBS acted as the chief radio researcher of the government. Most radio work was reassigned from NBS to other Department of Commerce agencies in 1965. Today, ITS has inherited that function of NBS’s work. ITS continues to support industry and work closely with other federal and state agencies. ITS’s work has improved communications and understanding of radio’s role in the new century.