Up Ostankino Air & Water



The translation from Russian into English

"Izvestiya", July 17, 1980

An Arrow Directed to Zenith

Central High-rise Hydro-meteorological Observatory in Ostankino has been transferred to the "on duty" mode to service the Olympic Games.

Slender TV-tower reminds a huge arrow directed straight to zenith. Clouds touch the top of its pole fledged with thin metal constructions.
"We consider the tower as a unique meteorological probe piercing the near-ground layer of the atmosphere," says A. Kurkovsky, Ph.D., chief engineer of the Observatory. "With the help of instruments located in several circles around its trunk we receive the most valuable information allowing to specify the weather conditions in Moscow, to monitor the cleanness of the atmosphere, to notify urgently about approaching of strong showers and thunder storms, strong gusts of wind…"
From a circular balcony located at a breath-taking height metal pole with instruments doesn't seem to be a small fragile branch attached to the trunk. It is a stable bar of 10-meter length capable of sustaining a hurricane can be easily retracted with help of a hand-operated winch. Technician performing routine inspections or repairing the gauges installed on the poles is equipped as a high-altitude worker: a protective hard hat, a canvas jacket with a wide security belt and thick gloves. 
"At 10 hours 42 minutes … At the location of 503 meters … Air temperature is 10.6 degrees, wind speed is 4.8 meters per second, direction of a wind is north-northeast". This is how the operator deciphered to me the next portion of digits hourly issued by the teletype, installed in the meteorological hardware room on the 12 floor of Ostankino TV-tower. Prior to this a computer using a special program has queried the instruments on all seven circles, compared the measurements to each other, and highlighted digits on the panel. 
Engineer L. Zhuk who was on duty at this shift could verify the data before transmitting it by an operative data channel to the Hydrometcenter of USSR. In the future this information along with many other items of information will be used to create official "Meteorological reports for Olympic objects".
"For the judicial protocols on several kinds of sports," A. Kurkovsky explained, "the data on the weather conditions and its parameters is required. In particular, competitions at the rowing channel in Krylatskoe are served by our specialized meteo station, which has the wide range of measuring tools connected to each other with 20 kilometers of cable." 
Each half an hour the judicial board will receive all necessary information, down to the data on the water temperature that arrives from the gauge installed in the channel. Thousands of viewers will see the same numbers on a huge display board.

V. Belikov.


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