Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


The ACML, anchored by two six-axis industrial robot arms based on our lab’s pioneering Configurable Robotic MilliMeter-wave Antenna (CROMMA) system, fosters the development of next-generation 5G wireless and spectrum-sharing systems through dynamic measurements, flexible scan geometries, and high speeds. Between the newer, dual-robot range and CROMMA, the Antenna Metrology Project tests and characterizes multiple steered-beam and other antennas from ultra-high frequency (UHF, from 300 megahertz through 3 gigahertz) through the 500 gigahertz range.

National Broadband Interoperability Test Bed (NBIT)

NBIT supports studies in wireless coexistence metrology and standards, providing a flexible work environment for CTL's Trusted Spectrum Testing Program. NBIT lets researchers understand how radar, LTE, Wi-Fi and other systems interact in an integrated environment combining large anechoic and reverberation chambers. By enabling the testing of multiple independent networks in a controlled environment, NBIT sheds light on these independent, uncoordinated systems’ ability to coexist without interference – an understanding critical to developing hardware and software capable of delivering on the promise of spectrum sharing. Unique to NBIT is the integration of a live LTE network, which enables real-world testing of this complex and increasingly ubiquitous wireless-data protocol. 

Industrial Wireless Systems Testbed

CTL’s Industrial Wireless Systems (IWS) Testbed (Gaithersburg campus) integrates existing and emerging wireless technologies with live physical systems found in factories of all types.  The testbed seeks to merge the physical systems and the radio frequency (RF) environment creating a framework for conducting measurements and test methods that advance the effectiveness, reliability, and security of industrial wireless deployments in factories.  The IWS testbed can be considered a cyber-physical systems testbed as it connects the computing world with the physical world but is categorized here due to the programmatic categorization of the work. 

Internet of Things/Cyber-Physical Systems Testbed

The IoT/CPS Testbed (NIST Gaithersburg campus, adjacent and connectable with the CTL Smart Grid Testbed) is designed to support measurements on a broad range of multi-domain applications, primarily through integration of co-simulation and hardware in the loop testing. The testbed uses the NIST-developed Universal CPS Environment for Federation (UCEF), a software package that enables the creation and management of configurations of both virtual (simulation) and physical (hardware) experimental components of the system under test. The CPS/IoT testbed will enable exploration and testing of IoT and IoT-at-scale applications, including applications in automated driving systems, transactive energy (smart grid), communications, and smart cities

Public Safety Communication Innovation Laboratory

The lab is focused on next-generation communication capabilities for first responders and maintains a modernized private network with high-density virtual servers that host an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and an IP Multimedia System (IMS). The EPC establishes voice and data connections between a variety of user devices, while the IMS delivers streaming media content to the network.

Smart Grid Testbed

The Smart Grid Testbed (Gaithersburg campus) consists of several interconnected laboratories designed to accelerate the development of smart grid interoperability standards by providing a combined testbed platform for system measurements, characterization of smart grid protocols, and validation of smart grid standards, with particular emphasis on microgrids, which are subsets of the grid that can quickly disconnect from the larger grid and function independently. The Smart Grid Testbed is designed to be agile and reconfigurable, with capabilities that combine virtual, physical, and hybrid systems to support a dynamic portfolio of smart grid interoperability research in sensors, control systems, cybersecurity, timing, and more. This research portfolio ensures that NIST fulfills its Congressional mandate in a rapidly changing grid landscape as provided in the Energy Independence and Security Act (Public Law 110-140)

5G Coexistence Testbed

CTL’s 5G Coexistence Testbed is a carrier-grade implementation with a focus on metrology for emerging 5G spectrum sharing, coexistence, and interference testing. The infrastructure allows for side-by-side testing of critical communications systems for federal and commercial stakeholders. Accommodate a variety of test campaigns conducted, radiated, and hybrid measurements. Data classification can be accommodated up to Proprietary, CRADA, or Commercially Sensitive.

See all NIST Facilities


Created August 21, 2009, Updated April 28, 2023