IEEE Transactions on Magnetics

Tunnel valve sensors in contact recording

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Results of experiments in which hard-disk drive (HDD) tunnel valve (TV) sensors were run in continuous contact with magnetic recording tape are presented. In one mode, suspended HDD sliders were run against tape backed by a supporting air film in a novel configuration. In another, tape was run in an air-skiving mode over HDD rowbars mounted on support beams, similar to the way tape wraps a conventional tape head. The data indicate that HDD TV sensors can successfully operate in continuous contact with running tape media. Measurements show that roughness of older generation metal particle tape limits the signal-to-noise ratio achievable using existing narrow HDD TV sensors. However, TV sensors optimized for running on smoother barium ferrite tape are now a viable candidate for future high areal density tape recording platforms.