Polaris Systems

Choosing a Polaris System

The Polaris Spectra and Polaris Vicra are based on the same core technology. Consider these factors when choosing a Polaris system for your application:

  • Size of measurement volume needed
  • Update rate required for tracking
  • Number and type of tools to be tracked
  • Space restrictions and mounting location of system
  • Integration/compatibility with current Polaris system

For further differences and similarities between the Polaris Spectra and the Polaris Vicra, see the table below.

Product Features Polaris Spectra Polaris Vicra
exceptional accuracy Yes Yes
bump detection capabilities Yes Yes
robust Yes Yes
short warm-up time Yes Yes
maintenance and diagnostic utilities Yes Yes
accurate within wide temperature range Yes Yes
large measurement volume Yes
integrated positioning laser Yes
small and lightweight Yes
mount almost anywhere Yes
track passive tools Yes Yes
track active wireless tools Yes Yes
track active tools Yes


There are three Polaris System configurations available: passive hybrid  Polaris Spectra System, Passive Polaris Spectra System, and Polaris Vicra System. See Choosing a Polaris for help choosing the correct system for your applications.

Hybrid Polaris Spectra System Passive Polaris Spectra System Polaris Vicra System

Hybrid Polaris Spectra System

The hybrid Polaris Spectra System can measure active, active wireless, or passive tools. It consists of a Position Sensor, a System Control Unit (SCU), optional strobers, and cables.

Passive Polaris Spectra System

The passive Polaris Spectra System can measure active wireless or passive tools. It consists of a Position Sensor, a Host USB Converter, a power adapter, and cables.

Polaris Vicra System

The Polaris Vicra System has a smaller measurement volume than the Polaris Spectra and can measure active wireless or passive tools. The Polaris Vicra System consists of a Position Sensor, a Host USB Converter, a power adapter, and cables.


The following are the software utilities available for the Polaris Spectra and Polaris Vicra optical tracking systems. The NDI Polaris Spectra and Polaris Vicra Systems come complete with NDI ToolBox software and an application program interface (API).

NDI ToolBox
NDI ToolBox is a suite of utilities for diagnostics, maintenance, testing, and development support for the Polaris Spectra and Polaris Vicra Systems. (View PDF) Some of the utilities offered through NDI Toolbox include:
Configure Utility
  • View system configuration
  • Change/update system settings
  • Quickly identify issues
ToolTracker Utility
  • See where a tool is located within the measurement volume
  • Perform data collection
  • View the size, shape, and boundaries of the measurement volume
Image Capture Utility
  • Easily view marker location
  • Examine background for potential interference
NDI 6D Architect
  • NDI 6D Architect is a software tool that simplifies the tool characterization process and the creation of tool definition files.
  • The program makes it easy to transform and manipulate information, including the view, orientation, and renaming of the markers within the 6D Architect main window. (View PDF)
Application Program Interface (API)
  • The API follows the proven and well accepted Polaris API and is fully compatible with Polaris Firmware Rev 2X.
  • The API enables easy system integration into your specific applications. (View PDF)