A 100 Hz, optical parametric oscillator (OPO) lidar breadboard is designed, built and tested for remote chemical sensing in the 8 - 12 micrometers range. Continuous tuning is achieved by angle tuning a type II, silver gallium selenide (AgGaSe<SUB>2</SUB>) OPO crystal pumped in a single step by a 2.088-micrometers pump laser. The pump source for the OPO consists of a temperature stabilized, continuously pulsed, resonantly pumped Ho:YAG (2.088-micrometers ) laser, end-pumped by a diode- end-pumped Tm:YLF (1.9-micrometers ) laser. The 9 mm X 5 mm X 25 mm-long OPO crystal was mounted on a computer-controlled galvanometer scanner for rapid wavelength tuning (1.5 micrometers between shots). Continuous tunability was demonstrated from 7.9 to 12.6 micrometers with energies in the 50 - 400 (mu) J range. Quantum slope conversion efficiencies up to 40% were obtained. Far-field beam divergence measurement showed the output of the OPO to be 2.6 times diffraction limit. The improved OPO beam quality over previous studied tandem OPO systems is attributed to the reduced Fresnel number of the OPO cavity (idler resonating) and the better beam quality of the pump source. A LabWindows based data collection and analysis system is implemented. The effectiveness of the OPO as a source for chemical sensing is demonstrated by the collection of the absorption spectrum of ammonia.