Conductive Distortion Detection in AC Electromagnetic Tracking Systems

Tomasz Bien, Mandy Kaiser, and Georg Rose


Electromagnetic Navigation, Minimal invasive surgery, Distortion correction


Electromagnetic tracking systems (EMTS) are increasingly used in computer assisted surgery, motion capture, kinematic studies and military applications. The main application in the medical domain represents the support of minimal invasive surgeries. However, in these applications EMTS often suffers from distortions by conductive, para- and ferromagnetic materials or stray field emitters that affect their accuracy. In this paper we present a new method for distortion detection in EMTS caused by conductive materials. It is based on the analysis of the voltage time course within the receiving coil, supplying the EMTS sending coils by square wave signals. Our approach allows for detecting of distortions using a single 5 DOF field sensor. The proposed method was evaluated on an experimental setup of a tracking system.

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