June 3, 2021


Collecting data from ships to forecast Cevenol episodes
Prime contractorUniversity of Montpellier
Launch dateScheduled 2021
Launch baseTo be defined
OrbitLow Earth, Sun-synchronous, 600 km
Mission lifetimeAbout one year


Robusta-3A is a cubesat designed to serve as a communications relay between ships in the Mediterranean Sea fitted with humidity sensors and the national weather service Météo France, which wants to use the data collected for forecasting and to improve its models, especially those used to forecast Cevenol episodes, very violent storms accompanied by torrential rain in the Cévennes region of southern France.

Robusta-3A will also support a humanitarian project to establish exchanges between schools in the Gard department and remote French-speaking schools in Burkina Faso, via dedicated terminals.

After 1U cubesats (Robusta-1b, etc.), Robusta-3A will be the first 3U cubesat (10x10x30cm) built by the University of Montpellier Space Centre (CSUM).

Initiated in 2013, the Robusta-3A project has engaged more than 60 students and supervisors from Polytech Montpellier, the ENSMA mechanical and aeronautical engineering school in Poitiers and the IUT technology institutes of Nîmes and Montpellier. It is supported by CNES through the JANUS project and the Van Allen Foundation (FVA). Equipped with solar panels and deployable antennas as well as a star tracker developed specially for the mission, it is both a technology demonstrator and a project of public utility.


Robusta-3A is a 3U cubesat built chiefly by students from the University of Montpellier. Its subsystems are illustrated below:

Inside view. Credits: CSUM

Outside view. Credits: CSUM


The two missions are illustrated below: