This study proposes a design methodology for determining configurations of subamient pressure shaped rail sliders by using a nonlinear programming technique in order to meet the desired flying characteristics over the entire recording band. The desired flying characteristics considered in this study are to minimize the variation in flying height from a target value, to keep the pitch angle within a suitable range, and to ensure that the outside rail flies lower than the inside rail even with the roll distribution due to manufacturing process. The design variables selected are recess depth, geometry of the air bearing surface, and pivot location in the transverse direction of the slider. The method of feasible directions in Automated Design Synthesis (ADS) is utilized to automatically find the optimum design variables which simultaneously meet all the desired flying characteristics. To validate the suggested design methodology, a computer program is developed and applied to a 30 percent/15 nm twin rail slider and a 30 percent/15 nm tri-rail slider. Simulation results for both sliders demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed design methodology by showing that the flying characteristics of the optimally designed sliders are enhanced in comparison with those of the initial ones.

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