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A low-power portable data acquisition system presently in use for geomagnetic measurements is described. The system is composed of a data-processing system containing a low-power microprocessor, a 9-track digital tape recorder, and a rechargeable battery pack. The magnetometer is a low-power three axis fluxgate design. Under program control the data processing system keeps track of time of day and date, samples three analog magnetometer outputs at intervals of either 0.4 or 2 s, digitizes the data to 15-bit resolution, and, depending upon relative magnetic activity, decides upon data compression to increase the tape storage capacity. It also monitors and records internal voltages and provides self-checking functions which may be monitored through a visual readout on the control panel. The system is mounted in a rugged, weather-tight carrying case suitable for use outdoors with minimal protection. The system, including magnetometer, uses 1.6-W power and can store 5.7 Mbytes of data.