November 7, 2016
ITS hosted an NTIA booth at MILCOM 2016 November 1-3. On November 1, ITS engineer Chriss Hammerschmidt presented a paper on “Extracting Clutter Metrics From Mobile Propagation Measurements in the 1755-1780 MHz Band” that describes spectrum measurements ITS took during 2015 to inform and validate new radio wave propagation prediction models. ITS has been working to better understand how to factor in the effects of clutter (man-made structures and vegetation) when analyzing and predicting the behavior of radio waves—read about that in the NTIA blog "Understanding Spectrum Clutter—It’s Not About Neatness!" ITS and its predecessor labs within the Department of Commerce have been developing and improving propagation models since about 1909. These mathematical algorithms predict the behavior of radio waves, and they are an essential enabler for spectrum sharing. But increased demand for spectrum, advances in technology, and the tremendous increase in the everyday spectrum usage (sometimes referred to as the “noise floor”), mean that there are tremendous potential benefits from more research and testing to improve the accuracy of existing propagation models. The topic is of special interest to military communications professionals because frequency bands where they operate many critical communications systems are now being opened to sharing. ITS Director Keith Gremban moderated a Technical Panel on Spectrum Sharing - Issues and Approaches on November 2nd where some of the challenges of federal/non-federal spectrum sharing were discussed. Keith also chaired a Technical Paper Session on November 1 on MIMO and Directional Networking, techniques that can help to prevent interference among communications services sharing spectrum.