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 FY 2017 Technical Progress Report.
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...
August 7, 2018
The record attendance (nearly 170 experts from government,
academia, and industry) at the 17th International Symposium on
Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) demonstrated the deep interest
in the problem of modeling...
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...
This Month in ITS History
September 1954: Radio Building in Boulder Dedicated
On the morning of September 14th, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first sitting president to visit Boulder, Colorado, when he dedicated the new Boulder Labs for the National Bureau of Standards. After a tour of the labs, President Eisenhower made a brief speech in front of the new Radio Building (Building 1—where ITS is still housed). "It seemed to me," he said, "as I went through (the Radio building) with Dr. Astin, that here we have a new type of frontier. This spot, only a few short decades ago was inhabited by Indians and by buffalo, and later, by trappers and miners. It became the center of a great mining and agricultural region, which has meant so much to the United States in the past – and indeed does now. But the frontier days when we could go out and discover new land – new wonders of geography and of nature – have seemed largely in the past. Here, today, inside the building, we have a frontier of possibly even greater romantic value, as well as greater material value to us, than were some of the discoveries of those days... It is my high privilege to dedicate this facility of the Bureau of Standards to the welfare of humanity – in America and throughout the world." Eisenhower then pushed a button to release a curtain and unveil the building's cornerstone, which is still visible on the north side of Building 1's front courtyard. The National Bureau of Standards no longer exists, but its child agencies NIST and ITS still occupy the Radio Building, exploring scientific frontiers.