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The modal field distribution from a semiconductor laser diode (LD) is a critical input parameter required for the optical design and performance analysis of transceiver modules. Information regarding the near field (NF) distribution is not always available from the LD manufacturer. However, far field (FF) angular distribution scans can be readily performed and effectively used to optimize the package-level performance of semiconductor lasers. We present a reconstruction of a LD FF angular distribution based on a set of experimental FF distribution scans performed in orthogonal directions. The reconstructed FF distribution is used in the optical design and packaging performance optimization of a semiconductor laser. We establish an Equivalent Far Field Gaussian (EFFG) definition of the LD FF angular distribution data, used as an analytical representation of the more complex LD FF angular distribution, simplifying performance analysis and optimization. The results obtained using EFFG, as well as with some other commonly used Gaussian beam approximations of the LD FF angular distribution are also presented and discussed.