A high swirl divided-chamber Diesel engine system with longitudinal and lateral optical access was developed to study the air-fuel mixing and combustion processes using both conventional and optical techniques. In particular, the spatial and temporal spray evolution, the mixture formation and the combustion phenomena were visualized by a high speed camera. The spatial distribution of soot temperature and soot volume fraction were estimated by spectral flame emissivity measurements using a polychromator with an intensified CCD camera.A modified version of the KIVA-3 numerical code was used to compute the flow field and spray combustion. The code was coupled with a pre-processor to generate the grid of the divided-chamber system and included models of droplet deformation breakup (DDB), single step ignition delay and turbulent mixing-controlled combustion.The comparison between the computed temperature contours and the flame images and emissivity measurements was used to investigate the ignition location, flame development and temperature distribution. The predicted temperature contours agreed well qualitatively with the flame images and emissivity measurements, although the absolute values were underestimated.