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Mission type Technology
Operator Centre Spatial Universitaire Montpellier-Nîmes
COSPAR ID 2012-006H
SATCAT № 38084
Mission duration
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type 1U CubeSat
Launch mass 1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 13 February 2012, 10:00:00 (2012-02-13UTC10Z) UTC[1]
Rocket Vega
Launch site Kourou ELV
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 302 kilometres (188 mi)
Apogee 1,089 kilometres (677 mi)
Inclination 69.47 degrees
Period 98.54 minutes
Epoch 31 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 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[edit]

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. 
  2. ^ Peat, Chris (31 October 2013). "ROBUSTA - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ CNES official page for the project
  4. ^ "The Use of a Dose-Rate Switching Technique to Characterize Bipolar Devices". doi:10.1109/TNS.2009.2033686. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ On the (now defunct) ROBUSTA website :
  7. ^