High temperature co-electrolysis of steam and carbon dioxide using a solid oxide cell (SOC) has been shown to be an efficient route to produce syngas (CO + H-2), which can then be converted to synthetic fuel. Optimization of co-electrolysis requires detailed understanding of the complex reactions, transport processes and degradation mechanisms occurring in the SOC during operation. Thermal imaging, Raman spectroscopy and Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy are being developed to probe in-situ both the reactions occurring during operation and any associated changes within the structure of the electrodes and electrolyte. Here we discuss the challenges in designing experimental apparatus suitable for high temperature operation with optical spectroscopic access to the areas of the SOC that are of interest. In particular, issues with sealing, temperature gradients, signal strength and cell configuration are discussed and final designs are presented. Preliminary results obtained during co-electrolysis operation are also presented.