The objectives of this paper are to describe the ongoing projects in diesel engine combustion research at Sandia National Laboratories' Combustion Research Facility and to detail recent experimental results. The approach we are employing is to assemble experimental hardware that mimic realistic engine geometries while enabling optical access. For example, we are using multi-cylinder engine heads or one-cylinder versions of production heads mated to one-cylinder engine blocks. Optical access is then obtained through a periscope in an exhaust valve, quartz windows in the piston crown, windows in spacer plates just below the head, or quartz cylinder liners. We have three diesel engine experiments supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies: a one-cylinder version of a Cummins heavy-duty engine, a diesel simulation facility, and a one-cylinder Caterpillar engine to evaluate combustion of alternative diesel fuels.