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          Communications Technology Laboratory

          CTL promotes the development and deployment of advanced communications technologies through dissemination of high-quality measurements, data, and research supporting U.S. innovation, industrial competitiveness, and public safety.

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          WHAT WE DO?

          NIST’s Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) advances the measurement science underlying wireless technologies ranging from the microchips that generate and process signals to the antennas that send and receive them. Our work establishes the metrological foundations for higher speeds, better connections and more ubiquitous access amid rising wireless demand from governments, businesses, and you. With expertise honed over decades of theoretical and experimental work in antennas and wireless propagation, materials science and electronics measurement and testing, CTL serves an independent, unbiased arbiter of trusted measurements and standards to government and industry. We focus our efforts in three primary program areas, all of which are establishing vital technological foundations for the ongoing wireless revolution.

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          PUBLIC SAFETY

          CTL works with a diverse innovation ecosystem to help solve public safety’s most critical communication technology gaps and drive innovation forward. NIST CTL’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division serves as the headquarters for the CTL Public Safety Program, bringing together research, development, testing, and evaluation expertise from across NIST, other government agencies, and the private sector to address the challenges of nationwide public safety communications interoperability. Drawing on critical requirements provided by public safety practitioners, the CTL Public Safety Program provides insight to wireline and wireless standards committees developing standards for voice, data, image, and video communications.

          METROLOGY FOR ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS

          CTL Divisions work closely together to develop theory, metrology, standards, and testing for the development and deployment of the technologies upon which the future of wireless communications depends. These activities fall into three main program areas: Trusted Spectrum Testing, Next Generation (5G & Beyond) Wireless, and Fundamental Metrology for Communications. The divisions continue to invent new ways to accomplish this mission, including the world’s first robotic-arm antenna testing system, state-of-the-art channel models for complex environments, electro-optic sampling for on-chip metrology, and quantum field probe for electric field strength measurements, among others. The National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN) provides robust trusted spectrum testing processes and validated measurement data necessary to develop, evaluate and deploy spectrum sharing technologies that can increase access to the spectrum by both Federal agencies and non-federal spectrum users. The RF Technology research portfolio spans on-chip measurements of the transistors that generate wireless signals, the testing of free-field signals and the antennas that send and receive them, and the characterization of the integrated circuits that receive and process signals. The Wireless Networks Division specializes in communications networks and protocols as well as in the digital communications technologies that make those networks possible. Division staff perform both theoretical and empirical research to develop simulation models, experimental testbeds, and proof-of-concept prototypes that are used to evaluate new technologies and to refine existing standard specifications for wireless networks and systems.?

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          OUR PROGRAMS

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          News and Updates

          Events

          Industry Impacts

          Alliance for 5G Networks

          The next generation of wireless communications technology will allow many more devices to send information much faster, making possible everything from virtual

          First Responder Communications

          First responders must be able to communicate during an emergency. Too often in critical situations, communications among public safety agencies are hampered by

          Projects and Programs

          Genomics of Electronic Materials

          Our goal is to develop the metrology to enable a materials genomic approach to the discovery and optimization of complex electronic and electromagnetic

          Software

          P25 ISSI Simulation Tool

          The P25 ISSI Simulation Tool is designed to allow Public Safety users to analyze and to understand the behavior of the network when deploying the Inter-RF

          On-Wafer Calibration Software

          NIST Microwave Uncertainty Framework (Beta version) The NIST Microwave Uncertainty Framework provides a "drag-and-drop" toolkit for managing the

          Simulation Models for NS-2

          A simulation platform based on NS-2 as been developed in order to leverage publicly available modules for several wireless and wired technologies.

          Tools and Instruments

          LTE Coverage Tool

          This experimental application was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR),

          Awards

          Press Coverage

          Contacts

          Director, Communications Technology Lab and Director, NIST Boulder Laboratory

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