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

Institute for Telecommunication Sciences / Research Topics / Public Safety Communications Research

Public Safety Communications Research

ITS participates with NIST's Communications Technology Laboratory in the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. This very successful joint effort has earned a number of Department of Commerce Honor Awards as well as the respect and trust of public safety practitioners. In fact, public safety practitioners — fire, police, and EMS — are directly involved in research and development activities to ensure that results are applicable to public safety specific requirements.

The ITS Audio and Video Quality programs have made significant contributions to PSCR research directed at maximizing the usability of public safety communications. PSCR researchers perform rigorous evaluation of voice and video technologies under simulated operational conditions to ensure that public safety personnel can use advanced communications technology effectively in anticipated real-world environments. In particular, ITS contributed decades of research in support of clear and effective audio communications for fire, police, medical, and other public safety officials. ITS also developed the Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS) Guide to Defining Video Quality Requirements, a tutorial and tool to help practitioners procure the right video equipment for specific use cases. Links to this work are provided below. 

Notice:, formerly jointly maintained by NTIA/ITS and NIST/CTL, has been laid down and its content migrated. Click the links below to go to:

For current news on the Public Safety Communications Research program, visit the NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division at