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Electrical Cable Testing by Pulse-Arrested Spark Discharge (PASD)

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (796 KB)

Technology Marketing SummarySandia has developed an advanced electrical wiring diagnostic system capable of detecting insulation defects in complex wiring systems. The portable diagnostic system detects and accurately locates hard to find insulation defects as breached insulation, chaffing, and insulation cracks. PASD could greatly reduce the time required to track down wiring defects, as it can typically locate these defects within inches.DescriptionThe PASD technique uses a high-voltage, low-energy, short pulse to induce an electrical spark breakdown at the site of an insulation defect. The pulse energy is insufficient to damage insulation or the conductors within wiring systems. PASD has been demonstrated to be effective in several challenging environments and has consistently detected wiring system defects, which cannot be seen through visual inspection.Benefits
  • Detects and locates insulation defects in complex wiring systems
  • Portable automatic system
  • Nondestructive diagnostic
  • Typically locates defects within inches
  • Detects faults which cannot be seen through visual inspection
Applications and Industries
  • Aircraft and aerospace
  • Communications
  • Construction and maintenance
  • Electric Utility
  • Mining
  • Nuclear power
  • Oil and gas
  • Public safety
  • Transportation and automotive
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,853,196
Method and apparatus for electrical cable testing by pulse-arrested spark discharge
A method for electrical cable testing by Pulse-Arrested Spark Discharge (PASD) uses the cable response to a short-duration high-voltage incident pulse to determine the location of an electrical breakdown that occurs at a defect site in the cable. The apparatus for cable testing by PASD includes a pulser for generating the short-duration high-voltage incident pulse, at least one diagnostic sensor to detect the incident pulse and the breakdown-induced reflected and/or transmitted pulses propagating from the electrical breakdown at the defect site, and a transient recorder to record the cable response. The method and apparatus are particularly useful to determine the location of defect sites in critical but inaccessible electrical cabling systems in aging aircraft, ships, nuclear power plants, and industrial complexes.
Sandia National Laboratories 02/08/2005
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
US Patent# 6,853,196Development - Technology Readiness Level: Sandia estimates this technology’s TRL at level 8. The diagnostic device has been proven to work in its field of use under expected conditions and has achieved actual system completion.Available - Various license and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss. 06/10/201003/12/2013

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