It is necessary to size the cracklike defects accurately in order to extend the life of thin-walled (< 10 mm) components (such as pressure vessels) particularly for aerospace applications. This paper discusses the successful application of ray techniques to simulate the ultrasonic time-of-flight diffraction experiments for platelike structures. For the simulation, the diffraction coefficients are computed using the geometric diffraction theory. The A and B scans are simulated in near real time and the different experimental parameters can be interactively controlled due to the computational efficiency of the ray technique. The simulated results are applied to (1) defect signal identification for vertical defects, (2) inspection of inclined defects, and (3) study the effect of pulse width or probe frequency on experimental results. The simulated results are compared with laboratory scale experimental results. Copyright © 2005 by ASME.