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Goals and Focus Areas


Goal: Science and Engineering form the foundation of what we, do and everything we do is in service of the Nations’ priorities and American competitiveness.

Research Focus Areas

Core Network Technologies

As an unbiased arbiter with unique
capabilities, testbeds, and established
partnerships, CTL accelerates progress in
these highly complex new technologies to
maintain industrial competitiveness.

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Fundamental Electromagnetic
Technologies and Standards

Research is fundamental to confronting
next-generation engineering challenges like
heterogeneous microelectronics, device-to-device communication, and the Internet of

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Next Generation Wireless Systems

CTL supports wireless system designers, standards organizations, and network service providers.  This support includes characterization of power-efficient mm-wave circuits, as well as measurements and modeling of complicated and dynamic propagation channels, antenna measurement and modeling, and evaluation of spectrum sharing protocols.

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Public Safety Communications

CTL performs research, development, testing
& evaluation, and contributes to the
development of standards to support
first responder communications.

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Smart Infrastructure and

CTL partners with Industry to address
grand challenges in energy distribution,
manufacturing, transportation, and defense,
incorporating communications and sensing
technology to deliver efficiency, reliability,
resilience, sustainability, safety, and security.

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Spectrum Sharing & Sensing

CTL is developing robust test processes, measurement technologies, and validated measurement data that are necessary to advance, evaluate, and deploy spectrum sharing and management technologies, coexistence metrics, atmospheric gas sensing, precision timing across networks, waveform metrology, and calibrations.

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Goal: We will explicitly integrate our values and behaviors into day-to-day actions, our leadership, and our performance expectations.  We will work in support of a culture that keeps people engaged and motivated. We will ensure an environment that welcomes new ideas, a diverse mix of people, and supports a workforce that demonstrates increased awareness of cognitive bias and achieving equity. DEI activities are in partnership with the NIST-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.

Operating Principles

Perseverance: We take the long view, planning the future with scientific knowledge and imagination to ensure continued impact and relevance for our stakeholders.

  • We are grounded in humility and driven to serve the nation and NIST ahead of CTL or ourselves.
  • We embrace change and employ strategy and vision as we work together to deliver the mission.
  • We establish and strengthen partnerships and enduring collaborations to augment long-term success.

Integrity: We are ethical, honest, independent, and objective.

  • We assume positive intent and hold ourselves and each other accountable.
  • We will do what is right and not be influenced by external pressures.
  • We provide open access to information, seek participation whenever possible, and are transparent in all aspects of our operations.

Inclusivity: We work collaboratively to harness the diversity of people and ideas, both inside and outside of NIST, to attain the best solutions to multidisciplinary challenges.

  • We embrace our diversity, challenge our cognitive biases, and cultivate a culture in which all thrive.
  • We listen, empower, and respect each other.
  • We keep ourselves and each other safe, both in our physical workspaces as well as in our interactions with one another.

Excellence: We apply rigor and critical thinking to achieve world-class results and continuous improvement in everything we do.

  • We maintain a lifelong learning and development mindset to achieve impactful outcomes for the public.
  • We believe that investing in the culture of our team is of equal importance to the excellence of our research.
  • We acknowledge that our pursuit of perfection may inhibit the growth found through failure.
  • We must achieve a cultural norm of acceptable risk as a necessary step on the path to excellence.


Goal: To maintain our success and our place among the best, we must invest in developing our people, structure, processes, and budget that enables us to do our finest work. Our efforts are in collaboration to create a culture where everyone is respected, valued, accepted, and provided equal opportunity to succeed.

Work with us!


Created December 21, 2021, Updated January 4, 2022