MIDDLEFIELD, Conn., March 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zygo Corporation (Nasdaq:ZIGO), a worldwide supplier of optical metrology instruments and high precision optical systems, today announced that its Optical Systems Division was awarded a substantial order to manufacture a series of very high precision optics for the European Advanced Virgo project. Advanced Virgo is an upgrade of the Virgo detector located near Pisa, Italy, to a second generation instrument with an order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity to explore a volume of universe 1,000 times larger than Virgo. The ultimate goal of this high-end scientific instrument is the detection of gravitational waves originating from cosmic sources as predicted by Albert Einstein. "Zygo is very proud to have been chosen as the key optics supplier for this state-of-the-art instrument," said Dr. Frank Nowak, Optical Products Manager for ZygoLOT GmbH Germany. "We have a long tradition in manufacturing large optics with sub-nanometer specifications for gravitational wave detection that utilizes similar manufacturing technology offered to our semiconductor lithography customers." In addition, Dr. Raffaelle Flaminio, director of the Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés (LMA) and responsible for the procurement of Virgo optics, commented, "After a comprehensive evaluation of many potential suppliers worldwide, the LMA has selected Zygo as the key, and only, supplier of optics for our Advanced Virgo program in light of Zygo's outstanding track record in manufacturing these types of high-end optics and their associated expertise in metrology at the sub-nanometer level. We look forward to interacting with their world class team throughout the duration of this program." The Virgo optics will be manufactured in Zygo's Precision Optics and Extreme Precision Optics groups in Middlefield, CT and Richmond, CA. The LMA is a USR (Unité de Service et de Recherche n°3264) from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France). The laboratory is specialized in the study, the realization (several deposition systems) and the characterization (optical and mechanical means) of thin films realized by several vacuum deposition processes (CVD, PVD). The LMA is particularly involved in the Franco-Italian program VIRGO (VIRGO mirrors realized by the LMA) and in the American program Advanced LIGO.