A new Optical Parametric Oscillator for the mid infrared wavelength region of 3-3.8 micrometer is developed with an idler output power of more than 1 Watt. The OPO is pumped with a 10 Watt, cw, Nd:YAG Laser and consists of a bowtie ring cavity (FSR 320 MHz) resonating at the signal wavelength. The wavelength is controlled with a fan-out PPLN crystal and a low finesse intracavity Fabry-Perot. The idler output could be tuned over more than 24 Ghz modehop-free, by tuning the pump laser and keep the OPO cavity fixed. Mode hop tuning over 100 Ghz could be obtained changing the length of the intracavity Fabry-Perot. This high power OPO is combined with photoacoustic spectroscopy in order to develop a sensitive trace gas detector for LifeScience applications.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.