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

Due to the lapse in Congressional Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce is closed. Commerce Department websites, including this one, will not be updated until further notice. For more information, see Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations.


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 Computer Scientists and Computer Engineers!

ITS is recruiting recent grad Computer Scientists and Computer Engineers to join research and development teams operating in a cross-disciplinary collaborative environment in our Boulder, Colorado, laboratory. Several full-time, permanent positions are open at the ZP II or III grade. The responsibility of the position will be to assist senior engineers in implementing complex telecommunication and propagation modeling algorithms and developing, validating, verifying, testing, and documenting software implementations; assist senior software engineers solving problems in communication theory, electromagnetics and hardware telecommunication systems; and provide written and oral reports and status updates while working in a team-based environment. These positions have positive education and specialized experience requirements. Please refer to the announcements at USAJOBS for full information.

Computer Scientist: USAJobs announcement # NTIA-ITS-2019-0006 Closes Wednesday, January 2, 2019!
Computer Engineer: 
USAJobs announcement # NTIA-ITS-2019-0002 Closes Wednesday, January 2, 2019!

Internship Available in Information Technology

We are looking for a Student Trainee under the Pathways Internship Program. As a Student Trainee (Information Technology), you will assist higher banded Information Technology employees with the following duties:

  • Provide IT helpdesk support for software and hardware
  • Troubleshoot IT problems to support business and research options
  • Perform day to day IT related assignments
  • Communicate in writing and verbally in a team-based environment and provide updates on work assignments

For details, see USAJOBS announcement # NTIA-ITS-2019-0003  Closes Thursday, January 3, 2019.

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 radio...

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

January 1943: First Radio Proximity Fuzed Ordinance Used in Combat

On January 5, 1943, the St. Louis Class light cruiser, USS Helena fired the first radio proximity fuzed ordinance in a combat action. The proximity fuze is considered to be one of the most important inventions to come out of World War II. Bombs that explode before impact cause greater damage than those that explode after impact, and reduce the effectiveness of foxholes and trenches. During the First World War, bombers realized this and attempted to bounce bombs off trees, cliffs, and other natural formations to trigger contact detonators. Soon timed fuzes were installed in ordinances, but these required perfect timing to explode in the proper position. Radio proximity fuzes held the promise of sensing their own altitude by reflecting radio waves off the ground and detonating at the proper time for maximum effect. Since 1940, the Navy and National Bureau of Standards had been working on parallel radio fuze projects. The Bureau's ordinance work was headed by Harry Diamond, and his Ordinance Development Division remained active until 1953, when it was transferred to the Army and renamed Diamond Ordinance Fuze Laboratories in honor of the NBS scientist. ITS researchers no longer develop ordinance, but they still work to keep members of the Armed Forces safe. Recent work includes improving tools for operational communications planning and developing propagation models for zero-height antennas—models that can help design systems to interfere with the signal intended to remotely detonate a buried improvised explosive device (IED).