In this note, lidar materials, ready and waiting, will be discussed. Most lidar applications depend upon “Ready” materials, conventional materials that are part of a design solution to the application. Lidar systems already operating and serving the needs of communities in atmospheric, earth and planetary sciences, include airborne terrain mapping, airborne bathymetric mapping, ground-based imaging rangefinding and ceilometry are included in this category. Even in space application, “Ready” spaceborne applications include orbital rendezvous and docking, precision landing/hazard avoidance and Martian atmospheric evaluation. Other applications, however, have particular materials needs and constitute “Waiting” systems. These include in particular spaceborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) for the measurement of important trace species such as ozone and water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere (ORACLE, WALES). An evaluation of critical issues facing mission-enabling lidar materials development will be presented, based upon Optech Incorporated's direct experience in these areas.