In order to harness the power of UASs for in situ atmospheric monitoring of tracers such as CO2, N2O, and CH4 and as a precursor for extending detection limits to encompass sub-ppb level species, we have developed small, lightweight, single mode laser systems with co-developed integrated electronics. The laser sources are of various types including newly developed pump-enhanced difference frequency generation (PE DFG), distributed feedback quantum cascade lasers (DFB QCLs), and new types of commercially available DFB diode lasers. All are continuous wave (cw) and thermo-electrically cooled, ensuring a high instrument duty cycle in a compact, low maintenance package. The light sources are collimated with miniature aspherical lenses and coupled into a home-built astigmatic Herriott cell for detection of the various targets using direct absorption. In parallel with the optical components, we have developed integrated electrical systems for laser control, data processing, and acquisition. A prototype instrument suite is described that illustrates the importance of co-development of optical and electrical components in achieving an apparatus that is compact, fully automated, and highly capable scientifically. Although the emphasis here is on atmospheric tracers, we are already applying these technologies to spectroscopic measurements of other atmospheric species such as isotopes, free radicals, and reactive intermediates in order address several urgent science priorities defined by the NRC.