An H2O vapor remote sensing instrument which could operate in the 0.94 micrometer region would have several highly desirable characteristics. Among the characteristics are access to absorption lines with approximately the correct strength and the availability of good detection systems. A good candidate for the laser for such a system is a Nd:garnet laser operating on one of the 4F3/2 to 4I9/2 transitions. To make such a system a reality, NASA Langley has investigated compositional tuning to develop a laser at precisely the correct wavelength and methods of improving the efficiency. Both efforts have achieved success. A flashlamp pumped Nd:YAG laser operating at room temperature on the 0.946 micrometer transition has achieved a threshold of 12 J and a slope efficiency of 0.009.