The Portable Handheld Optical Window Inspection Device (PHOWID) is a measurement system for imaging small defects (scratches, pits, micrometeor impacts, and the like) in the field. Designed primarily for window inspection, PHOWID attaches to a smooth surface with suction cups, and raster scans a small area with an optical pen in order to provide a three-dimensional image of the defect. PHOWID consists of a graphical user interface, motor control subsystem, scanning head, and interface electronics, as well as an integrated camera and user display that allows a user to locate minute defects before scanning. Noise levels are on the order of 60 μin. (1.5 μm).