Spectral emissivity normal to the sample surface was investigated as a potential intelligent control parameter for the manufacture of SiC fiber reinforced SiC composites by chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) and microwave assisted CVI. Results indicated that at temperatures between 600 and 1000°C and wavelengths between 1500 and 2100 nm emissivity was sensitive to the sample porosity. It also appeared to be sensitive to the thickness of the oxide layer on the composites. The emissivity was not very sensitive to temperature in this region. It was concluded that emissivity is promising as a probe of density during manufacturing. It may also be useful as a probe of oxide layer formation.