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 FY 2017 Technical Progress Report.

ITS is Hiring!

We are looking for Student Interns in Computer Science (ZP-1599-1/2) to join our research team in  Boulder, CO. The announcement opened March 15, 2019 and closes March 25, 2019. To view the vacancy please use the following direct link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/527638000.

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...

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...

New Publications

This Month in ITS History

March 1915: NBS Radio Section Funded

On March 4, 1915 the National Bureau of Standards received its first appropriation for radio research. The Bureau had been investigating radio-wireless technology since 1913 in the electricity division, but, for the first time, the new budget for Fiscal Year 1916 included a separate line item of “$10,000 for the investigation and standardization of methods and instruments employed in radio communication.” F.A. Kolstler and J.H. Dellinger, well regarded researchers from the electricity division, divided the leadership of the new radio lab. While Kolstler was named chief of the section on the organizational paperwork, his duties were focused on military applications for the new technology. Dellinger, listed as a research assistant, was in charge of personnel, publications, and his own research lab. By the next year, the radio section had outgrown its lab space and Congress appropriated an additional $50,000 for the construction of a building south of the Bureau’s existing electrical building. The 1918 construction costs of the two-story Radio Building included two one-hundred-fifty foot antennas. Over the years the work of the radio section changed to keep up with new technologies and new needs. Its name also changed—the NBS Radio Section became the Inter-service Radio Propagation Laboratory in 1940, the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory in 1946, the Institute for Telecommunication Science and Aeronomy in 1964, and finally the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences in 1967. ITS is the country’s principal resource for governmental radio research and still works to improve the scientific understanding that underlies cellular, satellite, and public safety communications as well asother radio technologies such as Wi-Fi, radar, and GPS.