All-New Leica Absolute Tracker® Scales Up Features, Scales Down Size

Leica Geosystems 5th Generation Laser Tracker Defines "What's Next" in Portable Metrology

Miamisburg, OH - February 4, 2008 –
Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon company, today unveiled the new face of laser tracking – the Leica Absolute Tracker®. The all-new laser tracker offers scaled-up features in a scaled-down, sleek housing for ultimate portability and ease of handling on the factory floor. The product introduces substantial advances in thermal stability and volumetric accuracy, accelerated start-up times, major speed improvements, and a maintenance-free internal design. The Absolute Tracker integrates future-oriented technologies providing the basis for several new metrology products being developed by Leica Geosystems. The measurement systems are utilized for a wide range of industrial metrology applications in aerospace, automotive, power generation, shipbuilding and general engineering.

The Leica Absolute Tracker's compact size, at only two feet tall (62 cm) and 48 lbs. (22 kg), enables the sensor and the stand to be safely operated and maneuvered by one person. The laser tracker can be easily transported from one site to another in an average station wagon. The system's overall robust design and end-to-end reliability stand up to the toughest, most unforgiving industrial environments.

"After 80 years of pioneering portable metrology solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems understands industrial measurement like no other company," explains Duncan Redgewell, Laser Tracker Product Line General Manager. "The new Absolute Tracker builds upon this competitive advantage and delivers the most technologically advanced product to capture, analyze and present 3D coordinate data for dimensional control and other mainstream quality operations. The measurement and inspection possibilities are infinite when you combine the Leica Absolute Tracker with our suite of 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) T-Products – the wireless Leica T-Probe, the Leica T-Scan high-speed hand-held laser scanner, and the Leica T-Mac tracking device for automated applications."

Advances in Accuracy, Speed, and Accelerated Start-up

Leica Geosystems combines the strengths of both measurement principles of the absolute distance meter (ADM) and an interferometer (IFM). The Absolute Interferometer (AIFM) technology (patent pending) ensures high-accuracy measurements in all operating conditions, with multiple built-in redundancies that guarantee superb accuracies throughout the measurement volume.

The new Absolute Interferometer is 15 times faster than the previous model, with integration time down to 0.2 seconds. Another time-saving benefit of the Leica Absolute Tracker is its ultra-fast typical warm-up time of 6 minutes from a cold start, and a mere 3 minute warm-up time from a warm start.

Industry's Best Thermal Stability Gets Better

New advances in thermal stability top off the major enhancement list. The Absolute Tracker's heat-emitting components (IFM & ADM) are mounted far from the head, and sensor temperature is continually regulated. The temperature inside the new sensor varies by less than 1 degree Celsius. This improvement translates into continuous "on-spec" operation with no need for intermediate compensation routines. Leica Geosystems laser trackers typically need calibration once a year, even if they are moved around on-site daily.

Unrivaled Six Degrees of Freedom

The Absolute Tracker takes full advantage of the most mature 6DOF technology on the market. No other laser tracker manufacturer offers a scalable, all-in-one data acquisition solution comparable to the Leica T-Probe or Leica T-Scan. Impervious to changing environmental light, the Leica T-Scan covers a large range of surfaces, from near-black to shiny without powdering, and works in a measurement volume of nearly 100 feet. The wireless Leica T-Probe is used to probe hidden, hard-to-reach points, or points to which no direct line of sight exists. The device can be used to measure up to 9 cars in one setup or inspect large aerospace components, all with minimal setup times.

The All-New Leica Absolute Tracker Product Line

The Leica Absolute Tracker product line has three distinct offerings. The Leica AT901-LR is the top-of-the-line Absolute Tracker in terms of application flexibility. Its measurement volume reaches a full 262 feet (80 m) when used with a corner cube, or reaches 98 feet (30 m) when measuring with the Leica T-Probe, Leica T-Scan or the Leica T-Mac. The product is ideally suited for tooling, part mating, assembly, and inspection applications in the aerospace industry.

The Leica AT901-MR is a midrange laser tracker and is ideal for automotive applications as it supports the placement of several bodies-in-white within its measurement envelope. The sensor's measurement volume is a full 163 feet (50 m) when inspecting with a corner cube. It operates in a measurement volume of up to 59 feet (18 m) when used with Leica T-Products.

The Leica AT901-Basic is an entry-level laser tracker with a measurement volume of up to 262 feet (80 m). This product is ideal for basic metrology applications and measurements with corner cubes only.

A new redesigned controller unit is capable of controlling any of the three models, with backward compatibility to every laser tracker Leica Geosystems has ever made. This feature is important considering the vast majority of laser trackers produced by Leica Geosystems in the past 17 years are still in service, including serial number 0001.

Application Software Supported


The new Leica Absolute Tracker supports the most popular metrology software packages:
    • PC-DMIS: 4.2 or higher
    • Metrolog XG for Leica: 8.002* or higher
    • Microlog: 2.01 or higher
    • T-Scan Collect: 7.001 or higher
    • PolyWorks: 10.1 or higher
    • emScon**: 3.0 or higher

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 handheld, 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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