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AS3935 Lightning Sensor

This blog is meant to talk about the AS3935 lightning sensor developed by ams. This lightning sensor is designed to help users detect lightning up to 40 km away. Beyond detection, the AS3935 has the ability to estimate the head of the storm down to 1 km. There is an embedded algorithm in this device that helps to reject man-made noise. The device is housed in a 4 mm x 4 mm package and operates on a supply voltage range of 2.4 V to 5.5 V. There are several different parameters that can be controlled on this device.

ams' AS3935 Lightning Sensor

  • Noise Floor Threshold
  • Analog Front End (AFE)
  • Watchdog Threshold
  • Spike Rejection

MikroElektronika has created a click board for the AS3935, the MIKROE-1444, which follows the mikroBUSTM standard. This allows for fast testing and developing of the AS3935 by allowing the user to simply plug the MIKROE-1444 into a host board to be programmed. Some of the host boards that can be used are the DM164137 and DM240001-3 from Microchip Technology if the user is looking to stick with the PIC architecture. There are also ARM architecture options like the MIKROE-1984, and even the MIKROE-1581 which is simply an Arduino shield. There are examples on GitHub:

This product would be a great addition to a weather station or any monitoring device that looks for lightning. This device has the ability to provide an early warning to lightning and has selectable power modes making it a light burden on a weather station. More information about this product can be found on EEWiki and if there are any questions feel free to ask them in the TechForum.

About this author

Image of Pat Sagsveen Pat Sagsveen, Associate Applications Engineering Tech at Digi-Key Electronics, is responsible for assisting customers to find better ways to utilize new technology and parts to complete their projects. He joined Digi-Key in 2016 after earning his Associate in Applied Science degree in Electronics and Communication from Bismarck State College. His passion is for amplifiers and he spends much of his free time building and fiddling with them, including building 3 tube guitar amplifiers.
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