Abel inverse integral to obtain local field distributions from path-integrated measurements in an axisymmetric medium is an ill-posed problem with the integrant diverging at the lower integration limit. Existing methods to evaluate this integral can be broadly categorized as numerical integration techniques, semianalytical techniques, and least-squares whole-curve-fit techniques. In this study, Simpson’s rd rule (a numerical integration technique), one-point and two-point formulas (semianalytical techniques), and the Guass–Hermite product polynomial method (a least-squares whole-curve-fit technique) are compared for accuracy and error propagation in Abel inversion of deflectometric data. For data acquired at equally spaced radial intervals, the deconvolved field can be expressed as a linear combination (weighted sum) of measured data. This approach permits use of the uncertainty analysis principle to compute error propagation by the integration algorithm. Least-squares curve-fit techniques should be avoided because of poor inversion accuracy with large propagation of measurement error. The two-point formula is recommended to achieve high inversion accuracy with minimum error propagation.
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