A simulation and control design environment single-stage and dual-stage hard disk drives

Roberto Oboe, Alessandro Beghi, Paolo Capretta, Francesco Chrappan Soldavini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we describe an integrated tool for the design and evaluation of the performance of different control algorithms and strategies, applied to hard disk drives (HDDs) with single-stage actuators (SSAs) and dual-stage actuators (DSAs). The tool is composed of a set of procedures for the computer-aided design (CAD) of servocontrollers and a HDD simulator. In order to perform realistic simulations, each part of the HDD is described with high level of detail. As for the mechanics, the usual inertia plus resonance model of the voice coil motor (VCM) has been enriched with nonlinear friction modeling and, in case of DSAs, with the dynamic coupling between primary and secondary actuator. The nonlinear friction model has been tuned on experimental data, using an experimental system presented in the paper. As for the electronics, the VCM driver model is included and quantizations in the position error signal (PES) measurement and computation (i.e., finite wordlength in CPU) are explicitly considered. Also, in order to evaluate the tracking performance of different servocontrollers, repetitive run outs (RROs) and nonrepetitive run outs (NRROs) are included. Such disturbances have been obtained from commercial HDDs, with a procedure that is detailed in the paper. The simulator is then validated by comparing simulation and experimental results, both in open-loop and closed-loop conditions, thus, confirming the effectiveness of the developed tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


  • Dual-stage actuators (DSAs)
  • Friction modeling
  • Hard disk drives (HDDs)
  • Simulation environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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