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The use of the eddy current technique (ECT) for the non-destructive testing of conducting materials has become increasingly important in the past few years. The use of the non-destructive ECT plays a key role in the ensuring the safety and integrity of the large industrial structures such as oil and gas pipelines. This paper introduce a novel ECT probe design integrated with the distributed ECT inspection system (DSECT) use for crack inspection on inner ferromagnetic pipes. The system consists of an array of giant magneto-resistive (GMR) sensors, a pneumatic system, a rotating magnetic field excitation source and a host PC acting as the data analysis center. Probe design parameters, namely probe diameter, an excitation coil and the number of GMR sensors in the array sensor is optimized using numerical optimization based on the desirability approach. The main benefits of DSECT can be seen in terms of its modularity and flexibility for the use of different types of magnetic transducers/sensors, and signals of a different nature with either digital or analog outputs, making it suited for the ECT probe design using an array of GMR magnetic sensors. A real-time application of the DSECT distributed system for ECT inspection can be exploited for the inspection of 70 mm carbon steel pipe. In order to predict the axial and circumference defect detection, a mathematical model is developed based on the technique known as response surface methodology (RSM). The inspection results of a carbon steel pipe sample with artificial defects indicate that the system design is highly efficient.