A reliable metric is required to describe the damage resistance of large aperture 3(omega) transmissive optics for the NIF laser. The trend from single site testing to the more statistically valid Gaussian scanning test requires a well modeled experimental procedure, accurate monitoring of the test parameters, and careful interpretation of the resulting volumes of data. The methods described here provide reliable quality assurance data, as well as intrinsic damage concentration information used to predict the performance expected under use conditions. This paper describe the equipment, test procedure, and data analysis used to evaluate large aperture 3(omega) optics for the NIF laser.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.