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The modern high rate digital cassette recorderThe magnetic tape recorder has played an essential role in the capture and storage of instrumentation data for more than thirty years. During this time, data recording technology has steadily progressed to meet user demands for more channels, wider bandwidths, and longer recording durations. When acquisition and processing moved from analog to digital techniques, so recorder design followed suit. Milestones marking the evolution of the data recorder through these various stages - multi-track analog, high density longitudinal digital, and more recently rotary digital - have often represented important breakthroughs in the handling of ever-greater quantities of data. Throughout this period there has been a very clear line of demarcation between data storage methods in the 'instrumentation world' on the one hand and the 'computer peripheral world' on the other. This is despite the fact that instrumentation data, whether analog or digital at the point of acquisition, is now likely to be processed on a digital computer at some stage. Regardless of whether the processing device is a small personal computer, a workstation, or the largest supercomputer, system integrators have traditionally been faced with the same basic problem - how to interface what is essentially a manually controlled, continuously running device (the tape recorder) into the fast start/stop computer environment without resorting to an excessive amount of complex custom interfacing and performance compromise. The increasing availability of affordable high power processing equipment throughout the scientific world is forcing recorder manufacturers to make their latest and perhaps most important breakthrough - the computer-friendly data recorder. The operating characteristics of such recorders are discussed and the resultant impact on both data acquisition and data analysis elements of system configuration are considered.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clemow, Martin
(Penny and Giles Data Recorders Ltd.)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies, Volume 1,
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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