The forecast for solid-state lasers continues to look rosy, driven by robust growth in the diode-pumped laser sector. Business Communications Co. Inc. in Norwalk, Conn., makes this prediction in its study "Solid-State Lasers: Outlook for the Future." The firm says the market for solid-state lasers will exceed $1 billion by 2003. Although diode-pumped lasers will account for a smaller share of the market than flashlamp-pumped lasers, it will represent the highest growth rate. The report forecasts the diode-pumped market will grow from an estimated $130 million in 1998 to $312 million in 2003, an average annual growth rate of 19.1 percent. About 90 percent of the diode-pumped market is based on Nd:YAG or other neodymium-based crystals. Medicine, remote sensing, basic research and industry will be the major markets for solid-state lasers. A minor share of the market will involve other applications such as image recording and optical data storage. The study projects these market sectors will grow at an average rate of 16.1 percent.