Magnetic field strength, tilt, temperature & pressure data logger - Star-Oddi

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DST magnetic - compass, tilt, temp & depth logger

Magnetic, tilt, depth & temperature


Key features

  • Earth's magnetic field strength data displayed in addition to compass heading, tilt (3-D axis), acceleration, depth and temperature
  • Used for geolocation analysis of fish and for monitoring movements of buoys and underwater gear
  • Available with an adjustable housing that keeps the logger in a fixed position inside and allows for more flexible mounting options as well as protecting the logger
  • Available with a tag holder kit when used in fish tagging projects
  • Available with various pressure ranges up to 3000 m


The DST magnetic is a small data logger / archival tag that measures and records earth's magnetic field strength (in three directions), tilt (in three directions), acceleration, temperature and depth. From the magnetic field strength measurements a relative magnetic field vector is calculated, which can be put into models to find longitude and latitude of the tagged fish. It is also a useful tool for recording compass directions. DST magnetic is also used in studies of various gear and equipment.

Measurements are stored in the logger‘s internal memory with a real time clock reference for each measurement. The advantage of the DST magnetic is that it has the third vector for magnetic field strength (3-D magnetic). DST magnetic has full compass heading tilt correction so accuracy is maintained when tilting away from its horizontal position.

When used on fish the tag can either be implanted or attached externally, for studying their habitat movements and migration routes. For external tagging Star-Oddi can provide a specially designed DST fastener kit.

For use on various gear the Adjustable Housing can be purchased. The recorder is fixed inside the housing, which protects the recorder and gives flexible mounting options. For optimized compass accuracy the housing should be placed in an approximate horizontal plane.

The DST magnetic is supported by the SeaStar software and the Communication Box which serves as an interface between the logger and a PC.  Communication between the logger and the Communication Box is wireless. In SeaStar, the user sets the start time, start date and sampling interval before starting the recorder. Up to seven different intervals can be set for the same measurement sequence. This is especially useful when more frequent measurements are needed at a certain time period.

With default programming depth, temperature, magnetic field strength and tilt are recorded at the same time. Optionally, magnetic-tilt and temperature-depth can be set as primary and secondary parameter pairs with different sampling frequency. That way memory partitioning can be customized according to individual preferences.

When the DST is recovered, recorded data is uploaded to SeaStar where results are displayed both in graphic and tabular form. Since the tilt sensor is in fact an accelerometer the acceleration (m/s2) data are also displayed in the SeaStar software. After retrieving the data, the DST can be re-programmed and reused as long as the battery lasts.

A set of Communication Box and SeaStar software needs to be purchased with the first order. For more information about accessories please click here.

Examples of Application

DST magnetic can be used for analyzing movements (longitude, latitude) and behavior of fish and marine animals as well as for studying various underwater gears. 

The DST magnetic is suitable for studies in e.g. :

  • Fish and marine animal tagging
  • Approximating a rough geolocation of fish, habitat and migration routes
  • Fish proximity within hydropower stations
  • Compass direction and tilting plus temp-depth of marine animals or fishing gear
  • Orientation of various underwater equipment
  • Study of ocean current's effect on sensor line for modeling purposes

You can read more about studies using DSTs and other applications of the DSTs here.

Click here to watch a news report about the DST magnetic which appeared on the Icelandic public broadcasting company (RUV).

Technical Specifications

SensorsMagn. field strength (3D), tilt (3D), temp, depth*
Size (diameter x length)15mm x 46mm
Housing materialAlumina (ceramic)
Weight (in air/in water)in air: 19g
in water: 12g
Memory typeNon-volatile EEPROM
Memory capacity26,158 measurements if magnetic-tilt and temp-pressure are recorded simultaneously
Memory capacity bytes392,379 bytes / temperature-pressure 3 bytes, compass (MFS)-tilt 12 bytes
Memory management- Custom programming
- Primary and secondary parameter
Data resolution12 bit TD, 12 bit magnetic field strength (compass), tilt
Compass resolution
Compass accuracy +/-15° heading with tilt correction on compass up to +/-45° from horizontal plane
Temperature resolution0.032°C (0.058°F)
Temperature accuracy +/-0.1°C (0.18°F)
Tilt resolution0.05°
Tilt accuracy +/-3°
Temperature range -1°C to +40°C (30°F to 104°F)
Temperature response timeTime constant (63%) reached in 20 sec.
Standard depth ranges0.1m-50m
Depth resolution0.03% of selected range
Depth accuracy+/-0.6% of selected range
Depth response time Immediate
Data retention25 years
ClockReal time clock
Accuracy +/-1 min/month
Sampling intervalIn second(s), minute(s) or hour(s)
Number of different sampling intervalsUp to 7 different intervals can be programmed within a measurement sequence
CommunicationsCommunication Box, RS-232C 9 pin serial or USB
Attachment hole0.9 mm (in diameter)
Tilt range+/-90° (180° span)
Magnetic field strength range0 to 2 gauss
Magnetic field strength resolution100nT
Magnetic field strength accuracy+/-300nT
Battery life3 years**
* Pressure & temperature sensors optional.
** For sampling interval of 10 minutes; MFS-tilt, and temp-pressure recorded simultaneously.
Specifications may change without notice.

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