About us

We are a non-profit, scientific, professional and educational organization supported by a worldwide membership
We invite you to join us -
Become an RTCM member today!

RTCM's primary goal is to enable radio communications, navigational and  electronic systems to make the oceans and waterways safe, secure, pollution free and effective for work and play. However, we also work with resilient navigation solutions on land and land-based Search and Rescue solutions.

Our work impacts more than 60% of the U.S. population including 15 million recreational boaters as well as seafarers who move 90% of our international trade via large ocean-going ships. We also impact the nation’s vast inland waterways system, which is vital for commerce and reducing highway and rail congestion. Other aspects of our work are global in nature, especially the resilient navigation work, which impacts anyone requiring precise navigation.

RTCM’s leadership and members are involved meaningfully in all significant aspects of maritime telecommunications, electronics and navigation systems and participate in all deliberations having an impact on them. RTCM members in effect have “a seat at the table” during all significant policy deliberations.


• Leads policy initiatives to ensure vital processes, systems, trained users and spectrum are available for maritime users and protected from encroachment
• Provides forums to enable training, policy development and standards for distress and safety systems, saving thousands of lives yearly
• Oversees the ongoing evolution of radio from Morse Code with data rates of about 13 bits per second to satellite systems providing megabit per second capabilities
• Supports worldwide emergency beacon programs and their evolution; more than 2 million beacons have assisted in saving more than 40,000 lives to date
• Ensures vessel and shore-based radar systems and associated transponders work effectively together with related electronic charts for navigation purposes
• Creates standards for satellite positioning and navigation systems such as GPS to facilitate all modes of transportation, surveying, geodesy, precision agriculture, and autonomous vehicles, ensuring vital high integrity and centimeter-accuracy capabilities
• Represents members’ interests in many national and international bodies including IMO, ITU, IEC, the FCC and the USCG amongst others, and provides feedback on matters of interest to members
• Conducts an annual assembly with prominent speakers, exhibits, and collaborative meetings of interest to all in the communities we serve.