Too often in critical situations, communications among public safety agencies are hampered by interoperability problems. These incompatibilities are largely due to a lack of standards for a common approach to public safety communications.

National Institute of Standards and Technology logo and link.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Communications Technology Laboratory logo.

Our PSCR laboratories provide research, development, testing, and evaluation to foster nationwide communications interoperability. Drawing on critical requirements provided by public safety practitioners, the PSCR program provides insight to wireline and wireless standards committees developing standards for voice, data, image, and video communications.

Housed within the Department of Commerce Labs in Boulder, Colorado, the PSCR program is a joint effort between NIST CTL and NTIA ITS. The very successful research performance of the joint effort has earned two Department of Commerce Gold Medal awards, the highest honor granted by the Department, as well as two Silver and two Bronze Medal awards.

Institute for Telecommunication Sciences logo and link.

The PSCR program performs research on behalf of our sponsors at DHS OIC, DHS OEC, and NTIA FirstNet to advance public safety communications interoperability.

Practitioner Driven

Public safety practioners confer at an incident.

We involve public safety practitioners — fire, police, and EMS — directly in our research and development activities for public safety specific requirements.

PSCR program project results of are disseminated regularly to the public safety community through applicable conferences such as the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials — International, the International Wireless Communications Expo, articles, reports and documents, and outreach events.