NDI > Measurement Sciences > Products > 3D Guidance driveBAY and trakSTAR

3D Guidance driveBAY and trakSTAR

The driveBAY™ and trakSTAR™ electromagnetic (EM) 6DoF tracking solutions from Ascension Technology Corporation (an NDI company) provides cost-effective, high accuracy position and orientation tracking technology for integration into the most innovative and realistic medical training and surgical rehearsal simulators and military flight and gunnery simulation systems. Miniaturized, lightweight sensors embedded into medical instruments, helmets or Head Mounted Displays (HMD) track the user’s movements in all six degrees of freedom (6DoF), with no line of sight requirements. Every movement within the tracking volume, no matter how subtle or precise, is tracked in real time to exceptional accuracy. This accuracy, combined with low latency and fast update rates, allows sensor position and orientation data to integrate seamlessly with the simulator display to produce interactive training that’s remarkably true to life. A configurable design, small hardware footprint, and ease of integration further complement this 6DoF electromagnetic tracking technology solution known for its high value and high performance.

System Components

Electronics Unit


trakSTAR driveBAY

A desktop tracking electronics unit with integrated power supply.


A tracking electronics unit that fits into the drive bay of a PC chassis. The unit uses the PC power supply.

Transmitters The driveBAY and trakSTAR work in conjunction with a transmitter that establishes the coordinate frame and tracking volume.

  • Mid-Range Transmitter (MRT): provides a larger tracking volume.
  • Short-Range Transmitter (SRT):  provides a smaller tracking volume.


  • 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) sensors come in a variety of sizes, from an 8 mm general-purpose sensor to a minuscule 0.56 mm needle-sized sensor.

Technical Specifications

Accuracy 1.4 mm RMS, 0.5 degrees RMS
Number of Sensors Four (4) 6DOF per Electronics Unit; up to 16 total
Update Rate 80 Hz default, user-configurable from 20-255 Hz
Maximum Tracking Distance MRT: 660 mm (Model 800 sensor; on positive X-axis)SRT: 410 mm  (Model 800 sensor; on positive X-axis)
Interface USB on trakSTAR and driveBAY; RS-232 on trakSTAR only
trakSTAR Electronics Unit 290 mm x 184 mm x 64 mm, 1.31 kg
driveBAY Electronics Unit 200 mm x 147 mm x 41 mm, 0.84 kg (fits a 5.25-inch PC drive bay)
Power trakSTAR: 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
driveBAY: Molex Power Connector; +12 V: 1.6 A nominal, 2.9 A maximum; +5 V: 600 mA nominal
Mid-Range Transmitter 96 mm x 96 mm x 96 mm, 2.3 kg; 3.3 m cable length
Short-Range Transmitter 64 mm x 46 mm x 52 mm; 0.29 kg; 3.3 m cable length

Performance Motion Box

All tracking components are subjected to a calibration procedure that optimizes performance over a given region. This region is referred to as the Performance Motion Box. In these regions, tracking accuracy is the greatest. If you are developing an application that requires high tracking accuracy, be sure to position the transmitter such that critical measurements are taken in these regions. Tracking outside the box may not yield results with equivalent accuracy.

Performance Motion Box for Mid-Range and Short Range Transmitters

DIPOLE Transmitter Options – for 6DOF sensors.
(Translation Range for Spec Performance)
(Static Accuracy: Position = 1.4mm RMS/Orientation = 0.5° RMS)
Volumes are in the FORWARD Hemisphere only Dimensions listed are from the Transmitter Origin

Mid-Range Transmitter (MRT)

Short-Range Transmitter (SRT)

6DOF Sensors
Model 55 X: 16-32cm
Y: ±10cm
Z: ±10cm
*Note –Recommended max range for the Model 55 sensor with the MRT is 25cm
Not recommended
Model 90 X: 20-36cm
Y: ±20cm
Z: ±20cm
*Note –Recommended max range for the Model 90 sensor with the MRT is 36cm
Not recommended
Model 130 X: 20-36cm
Y: ±20cm
Z: ±20cm
Not recommended
Model 180 X: 20-51cm
Y: ±23cm
Z: ±15cm
Selected Applications
Model 800 X: 20-66cm
Y: ±28cm
Z: ±30cm
X: 15-41cm
Y: ±12cm
Z: ±12cm


6DOF Sensors

The 6DOF sensors come in a variety of sizes including the general purpose reference sensor that consists of an 8 mm square cross-section down to 0.56 mm diameter cylindrical sensor for use in the smallest tools.



Model 55

  • Sensor OD = 0.56 mm Max
  • Cable OD = 3.8 mm
  • Sensor Length = 300 mm
  • Cable length = 2.2 m


Model 90

  • Sensor OD = 0.9 mm
  • Cable OD = 0.6 mm
  • Sensor Length = 7.25 mm
  • Cable length = 3.3 m


Model 130

  • Sensor OD = 1.5 mm
  • Cable OD = 1.2 mm
  • Sensor Length = 7.7 mm
  • Cable length = 3.3 m


Model 180

  • Sensor OD = 2.0 mm
  • Cable OD = 1.2 mm
  • Sensor Length = 9.9 mm
  • Cable length = 3.3 m


Model 800

  • Sensor OD = 7.9 mm
  • Cable OD = 3.8 mm
  • Sensor Length = 19.8 mm
  • Cable length = 3.3 m