Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
18 May 2018
 | 18 May 2018

The role of COST Actions in unifying the European ionospheric community in the transition between the two millennia

Bruno Zolesi and Ljiljana R. Cander

Abstract. This paper consists of a review of the important contributions of four COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology) Actions in the period 1991–2009 to terrestrial ionospheric research, with applications in modern communication and navigation systems. Within this context, new ionospheric studies were initiated, leading to the development of a number of models, algorithms for prediction, forecasting, and real-time specification, as well as numerical programs. These were successfully implemented in different collaborative projects within EU instruments, promoting co-operation between scientists and researchers across Europe. A further outcome was to bring together more than a hundred researchers from around 40 scientific institutions, agencies, and academia in about 25 countries worldwide. They collaborated with enthusiasm in research, as briefly described in this paper, forming a lively ionospheric community and presenting a strong intellectual response to the rapidly growing contemporary challenge of space weather research.

Short summary
This paper describes the significance of the achievements of four ionospheric European COST Actions on science and technology for space weather and telecommunications. The period spans the two millennia from 1991 to 2009, bringing together more than 100 devoted scientists from around 40 scientific institutions and academia in about 25 countries worldwide. They have provided a forum for the establishment of collaborative European initiatives and a centre of expertise in ionosphere knowledge.