Parks on the Air
Parks on the Air (POTA) is a popular program that combines amateur radio with outdoor activities and exploration. It provides an opportunity for amateur radio operators to make contacts from designated parks and protected areas around the world. The program encourages radio operators to venture into nature, set up their equipment, and make radio contacts while enjoying the outdoors.
The main goal of Parks on the Air is to promote portable operations, showcase beautiful natural areas, and encourage amateur radio operators to explore and activate parks. These parks can range from national parks, state parks, wildlife refuges, historical sites, and other protected areas. Each park has a unique identifier, usually referred to as a "POTA reference number."
To participate in Parks on the Air, operators choose a park they want to activate and plan an outdoor radio setup within the park boundaries. They then operate their radio equipment, making contacts with other operators around the world. Contacts can be made on various amateur radio bands and modes, including voice (SSB), Morse code (CW), digital modes, and more.
Parks on the Air emphasizes the spirit of friendly competition, community engagement, and exploration. It allows operators to earn points for activating parks, chasing (making contacts with) activated parks, and working towards various awards and achievements within the program. It also provides an excellent opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to combine their love for nature with their passion for amateur radio.
Parks on the Air has gained significant popularity due to its combination of radio communication, outdoor activities, and the ability to explore and showcase natural and historical sites. It encourages operators to get outside, discover new parks, and share their experiences with the amateur radio community.