Air & Water
Up Ostankino Air & Water



Translation from Russian into English

"Sovetskaya Rossiya", December 20, 1979

Operation "Atmosphere"

"The usual route", A. P. Kurkovsky told to the driver, "Zamoskvorechye at first!"
We have made the first stop at Balchug, near a thermal power station. Pedestrians have been stopping by our small green UAZ and after reading the sign on the board "Atmospheric Cleanness Control" curiously looked inside, where there were instruments. Not such a long time was needed to take several samples of the air. Similar stops have been made in the downtown and near the Likhachev auto plant. And now our mobile laboratory comes back to Ostankino with the samples of air. Here, near the 541 meter high TV-tower, there is a small building. The sign at the front entrance says "The State Committee on Hydro- and Meteorology of the USSR. Central High-rise Hydro-meteorological Observatory".

The first question asked to Anatoly Pavlovich Kurkovsky, the chief engineer of the observatory - "Why "high-rise"?
We approached the window of the office, and he pointed to the TV-tower:
 - You see, there are masts attached to its body at various intervals. They have gauges installed on them recording temperature and humidity of the air, wind speed, pressure, level of pollution of air from 0 up to 503 meters. Such measurements are being taken 24 hours a day. It enables us to "see" the atmosphere of the city on a vertical scale, which is very important to control the cleanness of the atmosphere of the city. Now our observatory is the only in the country that has capabilities to monitor the near-ground layer of the atmosphere up to a half-kilometer height with help of a modern automated computer system. Besides, the observatory has systems for monitoring the pollution of the air in the city (ANKOS-A) and the water in the Moscow River (ANKOS-B). All this together with five meteo stations located in different areas of the city and two mobile laboratories help to conduct the monitoring of the air that Muscovites breathe. 
Now we are talking about starting creation of a system to monitor and evaluate the state of the natural environment. And this in turn will give us an opportunity possibility to warn about its unfavorable changes. 
To make the air of Moscow as clean as possible - this is the purpose of the experiment, being conducted in the capital for comprehensive studying the atmosphere of the city with multimillion population, advanced industry and transportation. This experiment is a part of a long-term complex scientific program for protection of the nature and the environment of the capital. 
"And what is already accomplished," I ask my interlocutor. 
As a rule, thermal power stations and some plants make a large contribution to polluting the air of cities with the sulfur dioxide. So over the last years almost all the industry of Moscow and the majority of its TEC have been converted to use natural gas. Over 1200 gas-cleaning and dust-catching devices have been installed or repaired on more than on three hundred enterprises. Over three hundred hygienically unfavorable enterprises have been moved out of the city limits…
Operation "Atmosphere" goes on a wide front.

O. Oparin


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