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Partial discharge (PD) characteristics in air, argon and helium at pressures between 101 kPa (760 Torr) to about 0.27 kPa (2 Torr) under 60 Hz AC energization were studied with various electrode arrangements. Measurements are presented for two representative electrode configurations, (1) needle-plane, with 20 mm spacing and a dielectric barrier, and (2) a twisted pair of insulated conductors. Typical PD current pulse waveforms are presented. Difficulties in adhering to measurement guidelines defined by the IEC 60270 standard are described, and suggested modifications of the standard procedures are presented for measurement and calibration for low-pressure PD.