As Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory moves forward with the design of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program, issues relating to the detection and measurement of laser-induced damage on large optics must be addressed. Currently, microscopy is used to evaluate surface quality and measure damage thresholds on small witness samples. In order to evaluate large areas, an automated system was constructed which can scan optics with dimensions as large as 1 meter and weighing as much as 400 pounds. The use of microscopy as the main test diagnostic has been replaced with an optical scatter detection system. Now large areas can be rastered, and maps can be generated, reflecting inherent and laser-induced scatter in multilayer optical coatings and bulk materials. The integrated scattered light from a test piece is measured in transmission using a HeNe laser as the probe source. When the probe beam is overlapped on a pulsed, high power, Nd:YAG laser beam, damage related scatter may be measured. This technique has been used for: 1) mapping of inherent scatter in an optic, 2) on-the-fly damage detection during a high fluence raster scan of an optic, and 3) single site damage evaluation for the determination of a laser damage threshold. Damage thresholds measured with the scatter diagnostic compare within measurement error to those attained using 1.00 x microscopy.