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») within the European ionospheric community has the objectives, embodied in the
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): to study the influence of upper atmospheric conditions on
terrestrial and Earth-space communications, to develop methods and techniques to improve ionospheric
models over Europe for telecommunication and navigation applications and to transfer the results
to the appropriate Radiocommunication Study Groups of the International Telecommunication
Union (ITU-R) and other national and international organizations dealing with the modern communication
systems. This introductory paper summarises briefly the background and historical context
of COST 271 and outlines the main objectives, working methods and structure. It also lists the participating
countries and institutions, the Management Committee (MC) Meetings, Workshops and
Short-term Scientific Missions. In addition, the paper discusses the dissemination of the results and
the collaboration among the participating institutions and researchers, before outlining the content of
the Final Report.
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