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Pulse arrested spark discharge (PASD) is an effective means to detect and locate a variety of insulation defects in complex wiring geometries such as breached insulation, chafing, and physically small insulation cracks. It is highly immune to line impedance variations, an important property in aircraft wiring systems, and has been shown to be nondestructive to electrical insulation materials. Because of the simplicity of the PASD concept, the low energy PASD pulser and diagnostics can be readily implemented into a portable, briefcase-sized diagnostic system. Although this patented technique will likely evolve as it enters into field applications, it is capable of making a near-term impact on the ability of inspection and maintenance organizations to detect and locate potentially hazardous insulation defects.