Pepperell, Devens to host world ham radio competition

Nashua Publishing Community News

By Chelsea Feinstein

Pepperell, Devens and Leominster are among the 16 New England communities chosen to host the World Radiosport Team Championship this summer.

The competition, which will attract 59 two-person amateur radio teams from 38 countries, tasks amateur radio operators with making as many contacts as possible in a simulation of emergency conditions.

“It’s kind of like the Olympics of radio contesting,” said Roland Guilmet, a spokesperson for the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club. “To be selected and host these radio contesters from around the world is kind of a big deal.”

Radio competitions help operators prepare for real-world emergency scenarios, such as hurricanes or situations like the 2013 Boston Marathon, in which radio is often one of the most efficient means of contact, Guilmet said.

“Radio contesting is really all about being able to make contacts with other individuals from around the world in some terrible radio conditions, and doing that in a very efficient way and very quick way to handle the communication traffic. In an emergency or disaster situation it means you’re able to get a signal through to another radio station that is requesting aid,” Guilmet said.

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