Contact Us  |  Search:   
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About BISO Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Quick Links

Contact BISO
Board on International Scientific Organizations
Policy and Global Affairs
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth Street
Washington, DC 20001 USA
Tel: +1 202-334-2807
Fax: +1 202-334-2231

International Visitors Office
For visa-related issues, visit International Visitors Office

Contact the IVO

Tel:+1 202-334-2807
Fax:+1 202-334-2231

BISO Events Calendar

Events of US National
Committees and
international unions
associated with BISO


U.S. National Committee for URSI


Scientific Commissions

The various branches of radio science are allocated to a set of ten URSI Commissions. The make-up of these Commissions, and the topics of principal interest within them, move with the changing needs and interests of the scientific community. At present the Commissions and their interests are:

1. Commission A - ELECTROMAGNETIC METROLOGY, Electromagnetic measurements and standards. The Commission promotes research and developments in : (a) Measurements and standards in time and frequency, including infrared and optical frequencies; (b) Measurements in the time domain; (c) Measurements in the frequency domain; (d) Measurements in telecommunications; (e) Measurements using lasers; (f) Quantum metrology and electrical methods in fundamental constants; (g) Measurements and standards from dc to optical frequencies.

Link to URSI Commission A Webpage 
Link to USNC-URSI Commission A Webpage

2. Commission B - FIELDS AND WAVES, Electromagnetic theory and applications. The interest of Commission B is fields and waves, encompassing theory, analysis, computation, experiments, and validation. Areas of emphasis are : (a) Time-domain and frequency-domain phenomena; (b) Scattering and diffraction; (c) General propagation including waves in specialised media; (d) Guided waves; (e) Antennas and radiation; (f) Inverse scattering. The Commission fosters the creation, development, and refinement of analytical, numerical, and measurement techniques to understand these phenomena. It encourages innovation and seeks to apply interdisciplinary concepts and methods.

Link to URSI Commission B Webpage 
Link to USNC-URSI Commission B Webpage

3. Commission C - RADIOCOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS AND SIGNAL PROCESSING. The Commission promotes research and development in : (a) Telecommunication systems; (b) Spectrum and medium utilization; (c) Modulation and coding; (d) Signal and image processing; (e) Circuit theory and design; (f) Information theory. The design of effective telecommunication systems requires the balance of scientific, engineering and economic factors. The Commission emphasizes research into the scientific factors, and provides expertise in other areas of radio science required for system design.

Link to URSI Commission C Webpage

4. Commission D - ELECTRONICS AND PHOTONICS. The Commission promotes research and reviews new development in : (a) Electronic devices and applications; (b) Photonic devices and applications; (c) Physics, materials, CAD, technology and reliability of electronic and photonic devices, with particular reference to radio science and telecommunications. The Commission deals with devices for generation, detection, storage and processing of electromagnetic signals together with their applications, covering all frequencies, including those in the microwave and optical domains.

Link to URSI Commission D Webpage
Link to USNC-URSI Commission D Webpage

5. Commission E - ELECTROMAGNETIC ENVIRONMENT AND INTERFERENCE. The Commission promotes research and development in : (a) Terrestrial and planetary noise of natural origin; man-made noise; (b) The composite noise environment; (c) The effects of noise on system performance; (d) The lasting effects of transients on equipment performance (this includes the Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse); (e) The scientific basis of noise and interference control; (f) Spectrum management/utilization and wireless telecommunication; (g) Geo-electric and -magnetic fields and seismic associated electromagnetic fields; (h) Self-organisation in terrestrial noise.. Note : Many of the subjects mentioned are treated under the common title of Electromagnetic Compatibility.

Link to URSI Commission E Webpage

6. Commission F - WAVE PROPAGATION AND REMOTE SENSING (including radio-meteorology, radio-oceanography and remote sensing of non-ionized media). The Commission encourages : (a) The study of all aspects of wave propagation at all frequencies in a non-ionized environment : (i) wave propagation over the Earth's surface, (ii) wave propagation in, and interaction with, the neutral atmosphere, (iii) wave interaction with the Earth's surface, oceans, land and ice, (iv) wave propagation through, and scattering by, the subsurface medium, (v) characterization of the environment as it affects wave phenomena; (b) The application of the results of these studies, particularly in the areas of remote sensing and communications; (c) The appropriate cooperation with other URSI Commissions and other relevant organizations.

Link to URSI Commission F Webpage 
Link to USNC-URSI Commission F Webpage

7. Commission G - IONOSPHERIC RADIO AND PROPAGATION (including ionospheric communications and remote sensing of ionized media). The Commission deals with the study of the ionosphere in order to provide the broad understanding necessary for radio communications. Specifically, the study includes the following areas : (a) Global morphology and modelling of the ionosphere; (b) Ionospheric space-time variations; (c) Development of tools and networks needed to measure ionospheric properties and trends; (d) Theory and practice of radio propagation via the ionosphere; (e) Application of ionospheric information to radio communications. To achieve these objectives, the Commission cooperates with other URSI Commissions, corresponding bodies of the ICSU family (IUGG, IAU, COSPAR, SCOSTEP, etc) and other organizations (ITU, IEEE, etc.).

Link to URSI Commission G Webpage 
Link to USNC-URSI Commission G Webpage

8. Commission H - WAVES IN PLASMAS (including space and laboratory plasmas). The goals of the Commission are : (a) To study waves in plasmas in the broadest sense and, in particular : (i) the generation (i.e. plasma instabilities) and propagation of waves in plasmas, (ii) the interaction between these waves, and wave-particle interactions, (iii) plasma turbulence processes and chaos, (iv) spacecraft-plasma interactions ; (b) To encourage the application of the results of these studies, particularly in the areas of solar/planetary plasma interactions, and the increased exploitation of space as a research laboratory.

Link to URSI Commission H Webpage
Link to USNC-URSI Commission H Webpage

9. Commission J - RADIO ASTRONOMY (including remote sensing of celestial objects). (a) The activities of the Commission are concerned with observation and interpretation of all radio emissions and reflections from celestial objects. (b) Emphasis is placed on : (i) the promotion of technical means for making radio-astronomical observations and data analysis, (ii) support of activities to protect radio-astronomical observations from harmful interference.

Link to URSI Commission J Webpage 
Link to USNC-URSI Commission J Webpage

10. Commission K - ELECTROMAGNETICS IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE The Commission is charged with promoting research and development in the following domains : (a) physical interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems; (b) biological effects of electromagnetic fields; (c) interaction mechanisms; (d) human exposure assessment; (e) experimental exposure systems; (f) medical applications. The Commission emphasizes its interdisciplinary character and fosters research co-operation among various disciplines.

Link to URSI Commission K Webpage


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number AST-1708170. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

To comment on this webpage or report an error, please send feedback to the
BISO Site Manager.