Placing students at the heart of the system

With strong support from the Occitanie/Pyrenees-Mediterranean Region and the Van Allen Foundation, the 1st French University Space Centre has been operational since 2016.

Its objective is to bring together all the players involved in the projects and all the cutting-edge facilities required to develop a nanosatellite from A to Z under one roof, and to place students at the heart of the system.

Synergy between training, research and industry

The Occitanie/Pyrenees-Mediterranean Region and the Van Allen Foundation strove to bring all the players involved together in a single CSU building.

Students from Montpellier University taking mechanics, electronics and information technology courses at:
  • Montpellier Science Faculty
  • Nîmes IUT
  • Montpellier IUT
  • Montpellier Polytech


  • AIRBUS DEFENCE & SPACE : European Leader in environmental satellite qualification
  • SYSTHEIA : Microcameras and systems for extreme environments (including space)
  • TECNALIA FRANCE : industrial robotics research and technology
  • TRAD : electronics testing and irradiation


Research Laboratories

  • INSTITUTE OF ELECTRONICS AND SYSTEMS, with the RADIAC (Radiation and Components) research group
  • LIRMM : Laboratory of information technology, robotics and micro-electronics in Montpellier
  • LMGC : Mechanics and civil engineering laboratory

Facilities for developing satellites & related systems

The Van Allen Foundation has funded some of the equipment. Its aim is to acquire all the cutting-edge facilities required to develop nanosatellites from A to Z:

  • A concurrent engineering room: 
    for working together simultaneously on various aspects of the nanosatellite, and viewing the overall result in real time
  • A mechanics workshop (not yet acquired)
  • An electronics workshop
  • White rooms: 
    to be able to assemble nanosatellites in a completely dust-free environment
  • Control and radiocommunications rooms: 
    for monitoring and communicating with nanosatellites in space

CSU team of student supervisors

The Van Allen Foundation provides funding for several student supervisor posts at the CSU. Incidentally, most of them are former “nanosatellite” students:

  • Technical director
  • Ground station engineer
  • Radiocommunications engineer
  • Technician