Rykachev, Mikhail Aleksandrovich
Born Dec. 25, 1840 (Jan. 6, 1841), in the village of Nikol’skoe, in what is now Yaroslavl Oblast’); died Apr. 14, 1919, in Petrograd. Russian meteorologist. Member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1896).
Rykachev graduated from the Naval Academy in 1865. Beginning in 1867 he worked in the Main Physical Observatory, where he served as director from 1896 to 1913. Between 1868 and 1873 he made a number of balloon flights as part of his research on the free atmosphere. In the period 1896–97 he initiated balloon observations of the form and motion of clouds.
Rykachev’s scientific works dealt with meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, physical geography, and aeronautics. He studied the movement of cyclones in Europe, drew up magnetic maps of the Caspian Sea, and helped compile the Climatic Atlas of the Russian Empire (1900). He conducted extensive organizational work aimed at developing a network of meteorological stations and a weather service. He also proposed a method for determining the lift of an airscrew (First Experiments on the Lift of an Airscrew, 1871).
Rykachev was chairman of the first International Aeronautical Congress (1904).
REFERENCESPotashov, I. Ia. Akademik Mikhail A leksandrovich Rykachev. Yaroslavl, 1965.
Bukhanov M. S., and M. P. Iurkevich. M. A. Rykachev—vydaiushchiisia deiatel’meteorologii i vozdukhoplavaniia. Leningrad, 1954.