For future satellite based water vapour DIAL systems, efficient and rugged laser sources are required preferably around 935 nm. The quasi 4-level transition from R2 to Z5 in Nd:YGG is a promising candidate for its direct generation. Q-switch operation at 100 Hz with pulse energies up to 7.7 mJ is reported as well as single frequency operation with an injection seeded system stabilized by ramp-and-fire-method. The pulse energy of a 4.5 mJ oscillator was scaled to 32 mJ with an InnoSlab-based amplifier at nearly diffraction limited beam quality of M2 < 1.4. Heterodyne measurements show a line width of less than 28 MHz.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.