We propose the potential to develop significant improvements to size, weight, and prime power requirements of front-end cw lasers and associated frequency stabilization and offset-locking photonics and electronics that are utilized in laser-based remote sensing systems for the measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and wind velocity. The emphasis in the proposed program is to develop stable front-end sources for 2-micron wavelength systems, but it is anticipated that much of the design will be readily applicable to a broad array of short-wave IR wavelengths, e.g. 1.57 micron, by the use of alternative laser gain media. Although the Phase I design and Phase II implementation will be aimed at airborne platforms, only designs that have a clear and practical path to future space-based implementation will be considered. The Beyond Photonics team is uniquely qualified to explore the state-of-the-art in relevant lasers and frequency stabilization techniques and develop improved front-end systems that have a demonstrable path to robust, compact airborne and space-based applications. Our team's deep experience with such systems lends a perspective that will yield significant gains in system compactness, efficiency, and autonomous reliability for a wide array of applications relevant to NASA's missions, and improve the viability for other commercial and military applications in eye-safe remote sensing.