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We describe a novel "see-through" indium-tin-oxide contact on the n-side of a high power unstable resonator semiconductor laser (URSL) that allows direct observation of the cavity during high power operation. Under optimized annealing conditions this transparent ITO contact has a low enough specific contact resistivity to permit normal high power CW operation of the URSL and allows the observation of filamentation. This contact scheme is applicable to a wide range of semiconductor lasers and is especially appropriate for high power devices. The same structure can also be used to obtain a 2-D thermal map of the laser cavity.