A "Laser Tracker" uses a laser interferometer to measure distance and angular encoders to determine the orientation of the center of a spherical mirror retroreflector (SMR) with respect to the tracker. Combining this information gives you a position. The laser beam can not be broken as the SMR is moved to the measurement location. The device can be accurate to +/- 0.001" when operating within several yards of the tracker.
The tracker software must help manage offsets because of diameter of the SMR, and other tooling required to measure an edge.
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