Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM)

Improving Safety and Survival for ALL

RTCM standards are used internationally for Differential Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Electronic Chart Systems.

RTCM members also have the opportunity to monitor and participate in the development of international standards for maritime radio communication and electronic navigation systems.


  • Facilitates the dissemination of Marine Safety Information (MSI) from producers to users
  • Supports governmental delegations to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by providing a channel for private sector experts to assist in the formulation of policy
  • Convenes special committees at the request of government authorities and others to resolve issues requiring private sector input and experts
  • Provides technical cooperation and support to the National Search and Rescue Committee, International Electrotechnical Commission, National Marine Electronics Association and others
  • Cooperates with organizations representing land mobile and aviation users to ensure that shared systems such as emergency satellite beacons and standards for autonomous vehicles utilize internationally-harmonized standards
  • Represents Emergency beacon (406 MHz) manufacturers at international Cospas-Sarsat meeting
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  • 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
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