Traditional laboratory ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared spectroscopy instruments are tabletop-sized pieces of equipment that exhibit very high performance, but are generally too large and costly to be widely distributed for process control applications or used as spectroscopic sensors. Utilizing a unique, and proven, micro-optical technology platform origi-nally developed, qualified and deployed in the telecommunications industry, we have developed a new class of spectro-scopic micro-instrumentation that has laboratory quality resolution and spectral range, with superior speed and robust-ness. The fundamentally lower cost and small form factor of the technology will enable widespread use in process moni-toring and control. This disruption in the ground rules of spectroscopic analysis in these processes is enabled by the re-placement of large optics and detector arrays with a high-finesse, high-speed micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) tunable filter and a single detector, that enable the manufacture of a high performance and extremely rugged spectrome-ter in the footprint of a credit card. Specific process monitoring and control applications discussed in the paper include pharmaceutical, gas sensing and chemical processing applications.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.