NLight Photonics Inc. of Vancouver, Wash., will advance high-power diode lasers under a $5 million research and development contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The goal of the agency's Super High Efficiency Diode Source program is to enhance laser diodes so that they convert 80 percent of their input electrical power into output optical power. The technology will enable lasers with up to 100 kW of output power to be used on mobile military platforms. An important issue for the program is that the output power and reliability of the diodes is dependent on operating temperature. The technology is expected to increase the ratio of optical power generated to heat deposited in the laser package from 1:1 to 4:1.