A transputer-based platform has been developed which allows total control of a multicomponent FM-TDLAS spectrometer. Due to the modular structure flexible implementations of various signal processing algorithms can be checked. A need for self-adaptive algorithms, having some desirable learning capabilities, arises in the control of processes which are time varying, nonlinear, and have unknown dynamics with unknown disturbances acting upon them. For such a complex problem, no analytical solution can be found. Although a potential a priori control structure can be defined, it is generally not possible to specify, in advance, the parameters within this structure. In this paper some basic principles of various signal processing strategies for tunable diode laser spectroscopy will be presented and discussed.© (1994) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.