Mission typeTechnology
OperatorCentre Spatial Universitaire Montpellier-Nîmes
COSPAR ID2012-006H
SATCAT no.38084
Mission duration2 years (failed)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type1U CubeSat
Launch mass1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date13 February 2012, 10:00:00 (2012-02-13UTC10Z) UTC[1]
Launch siteKourou ELV
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude302 kilometres (188 mi)
Apogee altitude1,089 kilometres (677 mi)
Inclination69.47 degrees
Period98.54 minutes
Epoch31 October 2013, 04:52:30 UTC[2]

ROBUSTA (Radiation on Bipolar for University Satellite Test Application) is a nano-satellite scientific experiment developed by the University of Montpellier students as part of a Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) call for student projects in the field of orbital systems.[3]

The satellite is a Cubesat, the name given to a series of nano-satellites developed as part of student projects. The ROBUSTA mission is to check the deterioration of electronic components, based on bipolar transistors, when exposed to in-flight space radiation. The results of the experiment will be used to validate a new radiation test method proposed by the laboratory.[4]

Implementation of the project

The duration of the ROBUSTA project is 6 years, beginning in 2006. The satellite was launched on February 13, 2012 on the Vega rocket's maiden flight,[5] and reentered in the atmosphere in February 2015. An anomaly within the battery recharge system resulted in the loss of the satellite after a few days.[6]


Teams from several sites, coordinated by the Centre Spatial Universitaire Montpellier-Nîmes worked together.[7] These teams are spread over several sites:


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Peat, Chris (31 October 2013). "ROBUSTA - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 31 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ CNES official page for the project
  4. ^ "The Use of a Dose-Rate Switching Technique to Characterize Bipolar Devices". Bibcode:2009ITNS...56.3347B. doi:10.1109/TNS.2009.2033686. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2015-07-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ On the (now defunct) ROBUSTA website :
  7. ^