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

What We Do

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) performs cutting-edge telecommunications research and engineering with both federal government and private sector partners. As its research and engineering laboratory, ITS supports NTIA by performing the research and engineering that enables the U.S. Government, national and international standards organizations, and many aspects of private industry to manage the radio spectrum and ensure that innovative, new technologies are recognized and effective. ITS also serves as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, private corporations and associations, and international organizations. The FY 2016 Technical Progress Report describes research performed in the past fiscal year.

Register now for ISART 2018! Registration closes July 17

ISART 2018 
Path Lost: Navigating propagation challenges for ultra-dense wireless systems
July 24-26, 2018, in Broomfield, Colorado

Network densification in response to the explosion in demand for wireless data presents technical economic, and regulatory challenges ... Network operators are looking to ultra-dense networks and ever-shrinking cell sizes to build capacity, but existing propagation models have an inadequate level of fidelity to represent these environments. ... ISART 2018 will bring together leading experts from government, academia, and industry to explore the current state of the art and map the path forward to the next generation of foundational propagation models. Read more here ...

ITS is Hiring Computer Scientists!

Job posting closes July 26, 2018


April 24, 2018

As demand for spectrum for commercial use continues to grow, policymakers are exploring spectrum sharing as a way to expand capacity while still fulfilling the needs of federal agencies. This model can work only if rules...

February 23, 2018

The Radio Act of 1912 dictated perhaps the first spectrum efficiency requirement when it said that “In all circumstances, except in case of signals or radiograms relating to vessels in distress, all stations shall...

February 6, 2018

Spectrum monitoring—long-term continuous measurement of the radio frequency environment from multiple sensors—is widely seen as essential to enabling increased exploitation of spectrum. Monitoring is expected be the...

April 3, 2017 

Evolving and improving the science behind spectrum sharing is essential to NTIA’s commitment to meeting the demand for spectrum among federal and commercial users. Just as collaboration between spectrum users can unlock...

January 3, 2018

A new NTIA Technical Report, published at the very end of 2017, reports the results of an investigation of speech intelligibility in different radio environments recently completed...

New Publications

This Month in ITS History

July 1957: International Geophysical Year Kicks Off

Proposed by a member of the National Academies of Sciences, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) was a global research effort that took place from July 1957 to December 1958. CRPL staff visited the Antarctic early in 1957 to prepare sites for their research. In July, CRPL sent researchers to the Antarctic to map the ionosphere and conduct forward scatter experiments. The IGY was planned to coincide with a time of unusually high solar activity. Sixty-seven countries participated in cooperative scientific studies around the world. International cooperation is important for geophysical research and large research projects often cross political borders. Much of the activity during the IGY took place in the Antarctic; some also took place in the Arctic, and some near the equator. The IGY was notable because of the number of countries working together in the midst of the Cold War. All the cooperating countries agreed to store the data collected in shared data centers located around the world. IGY research included the ionosphere, the auroras, cosmic rays, solar activity, gravity, glaciology, geomagnetism, oceanography, meteorology, rockets, satellites, longitude, and latitude. CRPL’s staff was involved in ionospheric and geomagnetic research in Antarctica, and in work on satellites and rockets in the U.S. CRPL also housed ionospheric and solar activity data after the completion of the IGY. The ionospheric and solar data collected led to improved communication and a better understanding of the atmosphere. Today, ITS staff work closely with the international community through international organizations like ITU, IEEE, and URSI. ITS's researchers still use data about the atmosphere and the sun to understand their effects on telecommunications.