A method utilizing high-speed digital computers and high resolution display systems for stacking a plurality of two-dimensional complex displays acquired from individual NDE scans over the surface of a material being inspected. The solid three-dimensional image constructed incorporates the two dimensions typically provided by eddy current-type testing components, i.e., the imaginary or vertical component and the real or horizontal component, and a third dimension that represents the physical orthogonal distance between sequential scans. The solid three-dimensional image is generated by connecting corresponding positional points on adjacent two-dimensional plane displays. The closed solid figure generated results when a null or equilibrium point away from the specific signal features is encountered. Appropriate coloration or shading on the three-dimensional image highlights the features for visual inspection. The method thus provides a representation of all of the data generated by eddy current-type or other NDE probes in a form that allows visualization of the relevant characteristics of the anomaly that permit its identification and relative importance.
Jay L. Fisher; Keith S. Pickens