Ascension Technology Corporation


In 2012, Ascension was acquired by Roper Industries Inc., becoming an affiliate company of NDI (Northern Digital Inc.) – a global leading innovator and manufacturer of advanced optical and electromagnetic 3D measurement technology systems.

Ascension Technology Corporation was a world-class manufacturer of electromagnetic tracking systems for the medical OEM and medical simulation markets. Ascension got its start in the military training market, developing head tracking technology for tactical aircraft simulators. The company’s technologies were also used in commercial virtual reality and computer animation applications. However, Ascension really found its niche in the medical imaging and interventional market, where the company’s technological strengths of 3D accuracy and integration flexibility are leveraged to maximum effect.

Ascension was best known for its 3D Guidance® product suite, which included the driveBAY™ and trakSTAR™ electromagnetic (EM) tracking systems. These innovative EM solutions worked in conjunction with reusable Ascension sensors. Ascension solutions are integrated into a wide range of image-guided intervention and therapy systems for use in biopsy needle guidance, image fusion, oncology, obstetrics, and neurosurgery applications.

3D Guidance Electromagnetic Tracking trakSTAR and driveBAY

3D Guidance

Take advantage of the ready-to-use configuration of this accurate, cost-effective 3D electromagnetic tracking system that tracks non-disposable sensors used with imaged-guided intervention applications.

Continue to 3D Guidance


Ascension Technology Product History

1997

MotionStar™

Turn-key electromagnetic motion capture tracker for character animation. Captures and filters fast motion over long distances with immediate feedback.

1997

SpacePad®

A cost-effective 6DOf electromagnetic tracker with a flat transmitter for optimal placement and ease of use. Designed for integration into OEM products.

1998

miniBIRD™

Designed for integration into medical navigation systems, measures the spatial location of miniaturized sensors that can be embedded into medical probes or scopes.

1999

3D-BIRD™

This inertial tracker motion tracker measures orientation angles without range limitation or line-of-sight restrictions. Provides real-time tracking and visualization for use in simulators.

2000

PC Bird™

A modular DC electromagnetic tracker that used 25mm sensors
to captures the position and orientation data of targets through six degrees of freedom (6DOF), over a specified range of  4 feet.

2000

MotionStar™ Wireless

A wireless version of the MotionStar magnetic motion capture tracker. Motion data is transmitted over the air to a base station for remote processing.

2001

PCI Bird™

This electromagnetic device uses a standard, full-length PCI card that is installed into a PC to control a transmitter and track one or two 25mm or 8mm sensors. Each

2002

laserBIRD2™

An optical tracker that uses scanning laser beam technology for wide area tracking. Ideal for environments that preclude magnetic, acoustic, or inertial trackers.

2002

Nest of Birds™

This sensor hub allows the position and orientation of up to 4 sensors to be tracked simultaneously. Plugs directly into a USB port or RS-232 interface.

2003

ReActor®

A modular tracking frame system for creating a motion-capture boundary area. Digital detectors embedded in the frame provide full, unobstructed tracking coverage.

2004

3D Navigator™

Wireless electromagnetic tracker combines a long-range transmitter and 3D pointer for integration into 3D visualization systems for immersive environments.

2004

Class B Flock™

An updated version of the Flock of Birds DC electromagnetic tracker that complies with the IEC-60601 regulatory standard for integration into medical electrical equipment.

2005

Hy-Bird™

A fusion of optical and inertial tracking technologies in a single solution that provides accurate, continuous tracking throughout a wide field of view.

2006

medSAFE™

An electromagnetic tracker that is Class 1, Type CF compliant and defibrillation proof for OEM integration and deployment in medical settings.

2008

phasorBIRD™

A helmet-mounted 6DOF optical tracking device that tracks head movement for target acquisition training of air or ground combat vehicles.

2008

trakSTAR™

A desktop electronics unit with an integrated power supply that uses electromagnetic technology to track up to four 6DOF sensors simultaneously.

2008

driveBAY™

An electronics unit that fits into the drive bay of a PC chassis, using the PC’s power supply. This electromagnetic system simultaneously tracks up to four 6DOF sensors.

2012 In 2012, Ascension was acquired by Roper Industries Inc., becoming an affiliate company of NDI (Northern Digital Inc.) – a global leading innovator and manufacturer of advanced optical and electromagnetic 3D measurement technology systems.