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 provide timely technical advice in support of NTIA’s mandate to develop and promulgate Executive Branch policies that address domestic and international communications 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. For more information on our research programs, see the FY 2016 Technical Progress Report.

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 brought together a record number of 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. for more, see the agenda with links to presentations and posters and the wrap-up blog by ITS Director Keith Gremban.


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

August 1957: CRPL Hosts URSI Boulder, CO

The International Scientific Radio Union (URSI) was formed in 1919 to promote radio science, coordinate international research, and facilitate radio measurement and standards. The first General Assembly of URSI was held in Geneva in 1922. The second General Assembly was held in Washington in 1927, and John Howard Dellinger, Chief of what was then the Radio Communication Section of the National Bureau of Standards, had a prominent role in organizing it. In 1957, the twelfth General Assembly was held in Boulder, CO, for the first time. Five hundred delegates and their families descended on Boulder for the meeting, which began on August 22, 1957. Delegates representing 22 countries arrived to share research results and plan for the future of radio science and the future of the organization. Dellinger, by then the retired Chief of the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory (CRPL) and Honorary URSI President, chaired the General Arrangements Committee and 30 CRPL staff members served on other organizing committees. CRPL had a long standing relationship with URSI and many CRPL staff were affiliated with the group as voting delegates. Today, the U.S. National Committee for URSI (USNC) manages the United States’ participation in URSI on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences. USNC regularly organizes its annual National Radio Science Meeting (NRSM) in Boulder, hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder, and ITS experts continue to present at and participate in the NRSM.