ITS Launches Telecommunications Science Video Series

Here’s a press release that I received today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2010 ?News Media Contact: Moira Vahey at 202-482-0147 or

BOULDER, CO — The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), a division of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, today released a collection of online training and educational videos for public viewing on ITS’s website. These videos cover telecommunications topics ranging from an easily understandable review of the fundamentals of radio spectrum—such as defining decibels using common logarithms—to in-depth explanations of complex engineering issues like resolving signal-interference problems. 

In announcing the public posting of this video collection, Al Vincent, Director of ITS, stressed that this is the first of what he expects to be a valuable educational series. “The publication of these videos reflects ITS’s goal to be not only a technical resource for telecommunication standards development, but also a trusted, impartial informational resource for industry, students, the general public, and other government organizations,” said Vincent. “This unique web-published video series represents a significant expansion in the accessibility of ITS’s research findings for the public, and we certainly hope to continue to make information on additional topics available in this way.”

ITS provides a variety of useful information and tools on its website, including technical reports, radio propagation data and models, and various ITS-developed software tools. Since its founding over 70 years ago, ITS research has been fundamental to the development of realistic and achievable standards for telecommunication protocols and equipment.

Video presenter Frank Sanders, a physicist and electrical engineer who leads ITS’s Telecommunications Theory Division, regularly authors ITS contributions to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU is a United Nations agency that deals with telecommunications and technology issues.

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA, which serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on communications and information policies. For more information about ITS, visit the ITS website. For more information about NTIA, visit the NTIA website.

I just watched Episode 15: Resolving RF Interference: RF Frontend Overload Problems, and it provided a very good explanation of front-end overload. Although ITS deals mostly with radar systems operating in the GHZ range, most of the presentation also applies to ham radio systems operating at HF, VHF, and UHF.

One of the things that made this presentation so good, is that Sanders is a very good draftsman. Even though he was moving right along, the graphs that he would draw on his whiteboard were very nicely done, and I think that made the presentation a lot more understandable. That’s a good lesson for all of us ham radio instructors.

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