National Parks on the Air Award (NPOTA)

13:28 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

Calendar Year 2016

Throughout the entire year of 2016, Amateur Radio will be helping the U.S. National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country will activate NPS units, promote the National Park Service. The following material is taken from the ARRL announcement of this program, which is covered in complete detail on the URL shown at the bottom of this extract.

1) Duration of National Parks on the Air - The ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event runs in parallel with the National Park Service’s centennial. The program runs from 0000 UTC January 1, 2016 through 2359 UTC December 31, 2016.

2) Goals of National Parks on the Air -
     a) Promote the capabilities of Amateur Radio to the general public through operations at eligible NPS Administrative Units.
     b) Promote the NPS Centennial and the heritage of the National Park System through Amateur Radio.
     c) Encourage portable Amateur Radio operation from as many of the 408 officially-listed National Park Service administrative units and the 25 recognized Affiliated Areas as possible.

3) Eligibility - The ARRL National Parks on the Air program is open to all licensed radio amateurs.

4) Administration - The ARRL National Parks on the Air Program will be administered only through Logbook of The World. No paper logs or QSLs will be allowed for award credit. Register for LoTW here.

5) NPOTA Units, QSOs, Bands and Modes
     Units eligible for the National Parks on the Air event are based on the NPS published list of officially recognized "NPS Administrative Units" and recognized "Affiliated Areas," As of October 15, 2015, there are 408 NPS Administrative Units and 25 Affiliated Areas. Units not on this NPS list are ineligible for NPOTA credit.

6) QSOs made on all Amateur Radio bands are permitted, except for 60 Meters. Cross-band QSOs, QSOs made through repeaters, digipeaters, Echolink, or IRLP do not count. A specific exemption is granted for QSOs made through the recognized Amateur Radio satellites and through the International Space Station. Only one QSO per NPS Administrative Unit will be credited for NPOTA award credit. There will be no tracking of QSOs by band or mode.

7) Three awards certificates will be available:
     a) Activator Award: Awarded to any Amateur who makes a minimum of one accredited operation from an NPS Administrative Unit. The total number of qualified activations will be printed directly on the certificate. 

     b) Chaser Award: Awarded to any Amateur who confirms QSOs with a minimum of one accredited operation from an NPS Administrative Unit. The total number of NPS units worked will be printed directly on the certificate.
     c) National Parks Honor Roll: Awarded to any Amateur who confirms QSOs with 75% of the 59 National Parks that have accredited operations in 2016. Note this does not mean 75% of all 59 National Parks. It is the responsibility of the Chaser to stay informed of operations that could affect their National Park's Honor Roll status throughout the year.
     d) "Five Star Activator": Special recognition on Activator certificates for Activators who engage in exceptional outreach during activations throughout the event. Activators must perform a minimum of five items on the Five Star Activator list and provide documentation (photos, video, electronic media, etc) of those activities to ARRL HQ upon request.

Five Star Activator actions include:
Media Publicity: Public Information Table:
Youth/Scouting Involvement Radio E-Message:
Digital Modes Satellite Contact:
Green Power Battery Power
Social Media Intrepid Traveler: Activate at least five different NPS units.
Stamp Collector: Participate in the NPS Passport program.
Share The Mike Moonbounce

8) For an operation from an NPS Administrative Unit to be considered valid, the following criteria must be met:
     a) The Activator and all components of the Activator’s Amateur Radio station must be physically present on the property of the claimed NPS Unit, unless specifically exempted by ARRL in advance. Activations from parking lots, visitor’s centers and other property maintained by the specific NPS unit are acceptable.
     b) The Activator must make a minimum of ten (10) QSOs during their activation.
     c) The Activator must upload their log to Logbook of The World as soon as practical.
     d) Aeronautical mobile QSOs are not valid for NPOTA program credit.
     e) Activators must exit an NPS unit for 24 hours before an operation from the same NPS unit is considered a separate activation.

9) Accreditation Criteri: ---. activating stations should refer to the ARRL web page regarding documentation of the site you have claimed for the award.

10) QSO Exchange Requirements: Valid QSOs must exchange a signal report and the alphanumeric designator for each NPS Administrative Unit.

11) Modifications to the List of NPS Administrative Units. Should NPS create or remove a unit from their official Administrative Unit list during 2016, the National Parks on the Air program will recognize the addition or deletion of that entity and adjust the number of NPS units accordingly, effective on the date of the activation or deletion by NPS. If NPS removes or de-activates an Administrative Unit during 2016, all QSOs made before the official de-activation date will count for NPOTA credit.

12) Sensitive Areas: Several NPS Administrative Units are sensitive areas, such as the units in and around Washington, DC. Discretion and respect of the location and other visitors to these NPS units cannot be overstated.

13) Miscellaneous:
     a) All entrance fees to NPS Administrative Units are the responsibility of the Activator.
     b) All contacts for a Chaser award must be made using call signs issued to the same station licensee.
     c) All QSOs for the Chaser Award or National Parks Honor Roll must be made from the same DXCC entity.
     d) QSOs made with a club call count only for the club, not the operator.
     e) The use of remote stations is permitted for Chasers. Activators and all Amateur equipment used during an activation must be physically present within the grounds of the NPS Administrative Unit being claimed. An Activator may not leave any communications equipment at an NPS unit unattended for the purpose of establishing a remotely controlled Amateur Radio station.
     f) Exemplary conduct is expected of all Amateur Radio operators participating in the National Parks on the Air program. Evidence of intentionally disruptive operating practices or inappropriate ethical conduct in any aspect of the National Parks on the Air participation may lead to disqualification from all participation in the program by action of the ARRL Awards Committee. Be on your best behaviour while operating on an NPS location. Refer to ARRL WWW page of rules also for access to park properties, use of trails, distance from trails and considerations of safety.
     g.) ARRL and NPS assume no liability for any Amateur Radio operator participating in the National Parks on the Air event and participants agree to assume all risk and liability for damage to personal property and injury to persons that may result from such operation, and to hold NPS and ARRL harmless therefrom.

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