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How the SAM-III Magnetometer and FG Sensors are assisting space agencies like NASA in space weather applications

"We use hundreds of the FG Sensors in the SAM-III Magnetometer products that we sell. These are primarily used in space weather applications and purchased by universities and space weather agencies around the world including NASA. The FG Sensors are integral to the SAM-III used in the Space Weather Underground project undertaken by several universities in the USA."


-Whitham from Reeve Radio Observatories



SAM3 By Reeve Radio Observatories
SAM-III by Reeve Radio Observatories

About SAM - III Magnetometer


The 3-axis Simple Aurora Monitor (SAM-III) magnetometer system is a sophisticated semi-professional geomagnetometer available in kit form.


The primary application of the SAM-III is for the d study of geomagnetism, but it may be used in other applications requiring magnetic sensing. The SAM-III uses up to three FG-3+ sensors.


The correspondences between geomagnetic storms, solar events and solar wind, aurora and radio propagation anomalies are well-known. The SAM-III is a useful instrument to radio astronomers, radio amateurs, aurora photographers and experimenters. Users can become part of the international SAM geomagnetometer network (SAM Magnetometer Project), whose goal is to place at least one SAM magnetometer on every continent.


Sensor outputs, K-index and time and date are shown on a liquid crystal display. Additional interface circuitry provides serial data, analog signal output and alarm outputs for external processing and display on a PC or voltmeter. The processor can be set to provide a dry contact alarm relay closure when the K-index exceeds a predetermined value. The alarm function is useful to aurora photographers and radio amateurs because it could indicate aurora picture and radio propagation opportunities.


The SAM-III may be operated in an autonomous (standalone) mode or it may be used with a PC for logging and viewing.


  • The basic specifications for the SAM-III magnetometer system are

  • Magnetic induction range: Approximately ± 50,000 nT

  • Resolution: 1 – 2 nT

  • Connection of one, two or three sensors oriented in any direction

  • Microprocessor controlled, 16 MHz clock

  • Data displayed on backlit 4x20 LCD

  • Data transmitted over EIA-232 serial interface as ASCII text

  • K-index also available on an analog output

  • Real-time clock with battery backup

  • Isolated Form A relay output for K-index alarm

  • Isolated input for detection of external voltage condition

  • Configuration setup and measurement logging via EIA-232 serial-interface

  • Power requirements: 12 Vdc at 60-90 mA

  • Dimensions: 200 x 112 x 64 mm (7.9 x 4.4 x 2.5 in.)

  • Software for setup , data logging, viewing and statistical analysis


If you want to purchase SAM-III or learn more about the project click the link bellow.



FG-3+ Sensor used in SAM-III device.





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