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Leica Absolute Tracker Yields Groundbreaking Accuracy

Published: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 19:43

(Leica Geosystems: Miamisburg, Ohio) -- Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon company, has announced that field measurement results have culminated in the highest-distance accuracies of any Leica laser tracker in the company’s history. This new line of Leica laser trackers introduces a distance accuracy specification of 10 µm (MPE) within the full measurement volume of up to 80 m (262.47 ft). Compared to the previous-generation laser tracker from Leica Geosystems, the Absolute Tracker’s distance accuracy has been improved by greater than a factor of two. The Leica Absolute Interferometer, which measures both relative and absolute distances, is responsible for this substantial performance improvement. It has several redundant systems built in, thus assuring the highest dependability of measurement data.

The typical measurement volume of the Leica Absolute Tracker models AT 901-B and AT 901-LR is now 160 m. Measurements of very large objects can now be performed without repositioning the laser tracker. The laser tracker’s advances in thermal stability, minimal warm-up times, and the weight of only 22 kg render the portable CMM to be extremely stable and flexible for a wide range of industrial metrology applications in aerospace, automotive, power generation, shipbuilding, and general engineering.

The Leica Absolute Tracker integrates future-oriented technologies, providing the basis for several new metrology features and products being developed by Leica Geosystems. One such advance is the Absolute Interferometer (AIFM) in the Absolute Tracker. The AIFM combines the ability to instantly re-establish an interrupted laser beam and immediately start measuring a moving target. “Dynamic lock-on” capability is a significant improvement to user productivity. Until now, no single distancing unit was capable of dynamic lock-on; previous generation laser trackers were forced to use both laser interferometers (IFM) and absolute distance meters (ADM) in combination. With the Absolute Tracker, Leica Geosystems has taken the strengths from both of these technologies, and combined them together to produce the AIFM. What makes the Absolute Interferometer revolutionary is that it can measure absolute distances to a moving target with the instantaneous update rate and the dynamic performance of a laser interferometer.

This new functionality will be released later in the year. All existing Absolute Trackers will be upgraded with a simple software upgrade. Laser trackers from Leica Geosystems have played a leading role in industrial metrology since 1991. Since then, the technology inside the laser tracker has been undergoing continuous improvements, yet many of the original laser trackers from the first series are still in use today, a testimony to their dependability in the field. 

About the Metrology Division of Leica Geosystems
The Metrology Division of Leica Geosystems is a global supplier of comprehensive hardware and software packages to the industrial metrology market. These products integrate with popular CAD programs, various build-and-inspect tools, and reverse- engineering software. Using state-of-the-art laser technology, Leica’s laser trackers and theodolites make quality control, part mating, assembly, and construction of large and small parts easier and more accurate than ever. The U.S. headquarters for Leica Geosystems’ metrology products is located at the Hexagon Metrology Precision Center in Miamisburg, Ohio. For more information about Leica Geosystems’ metrology products and services, visit their web site at www.leica-geosystems.com/metrology, or call 937-353-1218.

About Hexagon Metrology
Hexagon Metrology serves the high-precision measurement and inspection needs of worldwide manufacturers with its extensive line of metrology hardware, software, accessories, and customer services. The company’s name-brand portfolio of quality assurance products include Brown & Sharpe, Cognitens, Leica Geosystems, ROMER, Sheffield, PC-DMIS, DEA, Leitz, and TESA. Hexagon Metrology has an unrivaled installed base of more than 1.5 million hand-held, stationary, and portable measurement devices, and over 30,000 seats of PC-DMIS metrology software. The company is a subsidiary of Hexagon Measurement Technologies, a business unit of Hexagon AB (Nacka Strand, Sweden), a publicly traded company (OMX Nordic: HEXA B). The Hexagon group consists of nearly 8,200 employees located in 30 countries. Call 800-426-1066 or visit www.hexagonmetrology.us for more information about Hexagon Metrology Inc. and its trusted brands.


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The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS)—presenter of the Coordinate Metrology Society Conference (CMSC)—is comprised of users, service providers, and OEMs of close-tolerance, industrial coordinate measurement systems, software, and peripherals. The metrology systems represented at the annual CMSC include articulated-arm CMMs, laser trackers, laser radar, photogrammetry and videogrammetry systems, scanners, indoor GPS, and laser projection systems. The CMS gathers each year to gain knowledge of the advancements and applications of any measurement system or software solution that produces and uses 3D coordinate data.