This article describes the qualification process for a 1.8 kW laser diode stack designed for the Mars Curiosity rover. The seven-bar stack serves as the optical pump in a boom-mounted spectroscope attached to the front of the rover. Each laser bar is made of 62 single emitters and generates 260 W of instantaneous optical power. A detailed design analysis of the diode stack is presented along with the results of overstress testing and failure analysis.

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