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RF Technology Division

The RF Technology Division provides metrology resources to facilitate development and commercialization of a broad range of radio-frequency electronic and electromagnetic technologies.




NIST CTL’s Radio Frequency (RF) Technology Division develops theory, metrology and standards for the technologies that drive the future of wireless communications. Our work 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.

Our work on fundamental radio frequency (RF) measurement is carried out by four groups: High-Speed Measurements, RF Electronics, RF Fields, and Shared Spectrum Metrology.


We tackle fundamental radio frequency (RF) measurement problems applicable to a wide array of industry and government players. The division’s groups contribute to three of CTL’s major programs: Spectrum SharingNext-Generation 5G Wireless, and Fundamental Metrology for Communications.


The second challenge is that wireless systems of all sorts must operate in increasingly crowded, complex RF environments. In part, this is a function of inexorable wireless demand growth. But there are also concerted efforts – in particular with spectrum sharing – to squeeze more users into the same spectrum bands.


For decades, we have been developing new theories, new algorithms, new software, and new hardware to advance the metrological state-of-the-art for the U.S. wireless industry. We continue to invent new ways to accomplish this mission, including the world’s first robotic-arm antenna testing system, our electro-optic sampling system for on-chip metrology, our quantum field probe for antenna testing, and the new NIST Broadband Interoperability Test Bed (NBIT), among others. As our longstanding collaborations with the wireless industry identify new focus areas for our unique capabilities, this list will continue to grow.

News and Updates


On-Wafer Calibration Software

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