This work summarizes the development of a gas turbine combustion experiment which will allow advanced optical measurements to be made at realistic engine conditions. Facility requirements are addressed, including instrumentation and control needs for remote operation when working with high energy flows. The methodology employed in the design of the optically accessible combustion chamber is elucidated, including window considerations and thermal management of the experimental hardware under extremely high heat loads. Experimental uncertainties are also quantified. The stable operation of the experiment is validated using multiple techniques and the boundary conditions are verified. The successful prediction of operating conditions by the design analysis is documented and preliminary data are shown to demonstrate the capability of the experiment to produce high-fidelity datasets for advanced combustion research.