History of domestic ICT: 90 years of the world

History of domestic ICT: 90 years of the world’s first Pavel Molchanov radiosonde

Peter Chachin

January 30 marks 90 years since the Russian meteorologist Pavlo Molchanov launched the world’s first radio probe in 1930. This invention has opened up great opportunities for studying the upper
layers of the atmosphere and a new stage in the development of aerology. The radiosonde was released in Pavlovsk from the Main Geophysical Observatory and reached a height of 7.8 km, measuring there temperature (-40.7 ° C).


The probe report was intended for the Leningrad Weather Bureau and the Moscow Central Weather Forecast Institute. It was the world’s first radio transmission event from that height. And since 1935
In 1998, serial production of radio probes was started in Leningrad. They were so technically advanced that they were in use until 1958 without any significant changes.

Pavel Molchanov (1893 -1941) – Doctor of Engineering, Professor, eminent Russian meteorologist, father of domestic aerology, scientist with a world name. In 1914 he graduated
Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of St. Petersburg University and was mobilized into the active army. He was assigned to military service to provide hydro-aviation flights over the Baltic Sea.

In 1919, Molchanov joined the Main Physical Observatory in Pavlovsk, where he had to rebuild an enterprise damaged during the war (now the A. A. Main Geophysical Observatory).
I. Voyikov). He soon became the head of this institution and headed it for about 20 years.

From the very beginning of the scientific activity, the scientist’s efforts were aimed at studying the upper layers of the atmosphere. Thanks to his initiative, the observatory has created new meteorologist samples – the snake
(1920), probing (1921), aircraft (1922), and also the device for processing of shropilot observations: the famous “circle of Molchanov”.

In 1931, Molchanov participated in an international polar flight on the Zeppelin Zeppelin airship, where he launched radio probes from the aircraft. In 1932 for another polar expedition
by the staff of the Pavlovsk Observatory 12 copies of the radio probe were prepared and since then altitude aerological sounding began to spread throughout the globe.

In the summer of 1933, the world’s first automatic meteorological station for Molchanov’s construction was installed in the Pacific Bay on Franz-Joseph’s Land. In 1933 – 1934, P.A. Molchanov participated in
the first rise in the USSR stratostat.

In April 1941, Molchanov was unreasonably repressed, and in October of that year he died. In 1954 he was rehabilitated. However, the merits of Pavel Alexandrovich are not forgotten and his contribution to
Soviet science was worthy of appreciation. In 1983, the oceanographic vessel “Professor Molchanov”, an ice-floating vessel, has been launched.

And today, despite the progress in the development of satellite and radar methods, radio probes are among the main means of obtaining rapid information on the status of the troposphere and the lower

Weather forecasting is one of the most difficult scientific and technical tasks. Its effective solution is possible only by means known as high technology. In Russia, there are all the basic
components of such technologies: hierarchy of complex mathematical models of the atmosphere, ocean and topsoil; an information environment that encompasses vast volumes of diverse hydrometeorological
real-time data from all over the globe; modern communication systems and high-performance computing complex.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) assessed the effectiveness of investing in the development of hydropower services through compensation for losses in the national economy: according to their data, each invested in
meteorology dollar can give 6 – 7 dollars. savings.

history of domestic ICT

IT-News Magazine [№ 01/2020],

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